Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bulletin: Santae Tribble: Washington D.C. Cleared in 1978 murder based on DNA hair test. 21,000 hair cases handled by FBI before 2000 under review. Spencer Hsu. The Washington Post.

STORY: "D.C. judge exonerates Santae Tribble in 1978 murder, cites hair evidence DNA test rejected," by Spencer S. Hsu,  published in the Washington Post on, December 12, 2012.

GIST: "A District man who spent 28 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit was formally declared innocent by a Superior Court judge Friday, ending his long fight for exoneration. Santae A. Tribble, 51, was convicted in the killing of a Southeast Washington taxi driver in 1978 after an FBI examiner said he microscopically matched Tribble’s hair to one in a stocking found near the crime scene. The killer was wearing a stocking mask. Tribble always maintained his innocence, and after he served his sentence, DNA tests on the hair this year excluded him as the source. In a five-page order, Judge Laura A. Cordero granted Tribble’s request for a certificate of innocence.  “In light of the parties’ concession that new DNA evidence conclusively shows that the hair found in the stocking cap was not Mr. Tribble’s, the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that he did not commit the crimes he was convicted of at trial,” Cordero wrote. With the ruling, Tribble became the second D.C. man this year and the third since 2009 to be exonerated after serving a lengthy prison term based on false hair matches by different examiners in the FBI Laboratory. Their cases, which were featured in a series of articles in The Washington Post, helped focus national attention on flaws in the U.S. forensic science system. In response, the Justice Department in July announced a nationwide review of all cases handled by the FBI Laboratory’s hair and fibers unit before 2000 — more than 21,000 cases in all — for instances in which improper lab reports or testimony may have contributed to a conviction. The lab began DNA testing of hair in 1996."

The entire story can be found at:


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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:

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