Wednesday, July 24, 2013

FBI review: U.S. Review of FBI forensic microscopic hair analysis testimony errors includes 27 death penalty convictions; Review led to an 11th-hour stay of execution in Mississippi in May. Results could be a factor in death penalty debate; (Must Read. HL);

STORY:  "U.S.  reviewing 27 death penalty convictions for FBI forensic testimony  errors," by reporter Spencer S. Hsu,  published on  July 17, 2013 by the Washington Post. (Story contains some excellent sidebars including an analysis of the accuracy of "each type of forensic science" and  critiques by independent forensic scientists of some of the faulty cases identified by the Washington Post.) Thanks to the Wrongful Convictions Blog for drawing this story to our attention.

GIST: "An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases has uncovered as many as 27 death penalty convictions in which FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked defendants to crimes with exaggerated scientific testimony, U.S. officials said. The review led to an 11th-hour stay of execution in Mississippi in May.  It is not known how many of the cases involve errors, how many led to wrongful convictions or how many mistakes may now jeopardize valid convictions. Those questions will be explored as the review continues. The discovery of the more than two dozen capital cases promises that the examination could become a factor in the debate over the death penalty. Some opponents have long held that the execution of a person confirmed to be innocent would crystallize doubts about capital punishment. But if DNA or other testing confirms all convictions, it would strengthen proponents’ arguments that the system works."

The entire story can be found at:


Dear reader: Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following developments relating to this case.

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

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:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.