Saturday, May 5, 2012

Washington Post exposée: reflections on the vital role played by a whistleblower: Dr. Frederic Whitehurst: William Fisher: "The Real News."

STORY: "Justice delayed? Justice cancelled?," by William Fisher, published in "The Real News," on May 3, 2012. (Wikipedia informs us that, "The Real News is a member-supported, global online video news network. Launched in 2007 by Paul Jay, The Real News Network describes itself as "focused on providing independent and uncompromising journalism", on "the critical issues of our times".)

GIST: "The use of unscientific evidence to obtain convictions was not limited to Malone, according to Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, considered to be the premiere whistle-blower in this whole sordid episode. It was Whitehurst and his colleagues, lawyer David Colapinto, and the staff at the National Whistleblowers’ Center, who kept this story alive. Dr. Whitehurst originally exposed forensic flaws that may have led to many wrongful convictions, as reported in last week’s Washington Post front-page story. For years, Dr. Whitehurst has urged the Justice Department to act on systemic flaws that he witnessed while serving as the top explosives expert in the FBI Crime Lab. The NWC and Whitehurst assisted the Washington Post in its investigation into the Justice Department’s failure. In response to the widespread outrage and condemnation of the FBI lab and Dr. Whitehurst’s original whistleblower disclosures, the Justice Department formed a Task Force to review thousands of cases impacted by Dr. Whitehurst’s allegations and to determine if any individuals were wrongly convicted. Although the Justice Department and FBI pledged to correct their mistakes, documents obtained by the NWC through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suggest a government attempt to suppress embarrassing mistakes at the expense of innocent defendants, lawyer Colapinto said. As reported by the Washington Post, convicted defendants were left uninformed of serious flaws in the forensic evidence presented in their cases long after the Justice Department had confirmed that serious problems existed, according to Colapinto. When he left the FBI Crime Lab in 1998 after 16 years of service, Dr. Whitehurst vowed to continue his work to find all the defendants harmed by the FBI’s misconduct. It was then he established the NWC’s Forensic Justice Project."



I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.