Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bulletin: Overstated FBI hair match crisis: (21): (The Emperor's Clothes); Massachusetts is launching its own review to determine if innocent people have been sent to prison using flawed hair forensics - following FBI revelations; WCVB.

Following revelations the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent innocent people to prison using flawed hair forensics, Massachusetts is launching its own review of cases to see if state crime lab technicians made similar errors. "I think it is quite possible that innocent people are in prison due to flawed forensic testimony that came out of the Massachusetts State Police Crime lab," said Lisa Kavanaugh of the Massachusetts Committee on Public Counsel Services. The plan, revealed first to 5 Investigates, is for the Massachusetts State Police to analyze cases between 1980 and 2000, before the advent of modern DNA testing, where the state used microscopic hair analysis to help win convictions. Cases where the hair analysis was used would then be reviewed by prosecutors together with the state's public defender's office and the Innocence Project. So far the Suffolk and Middlesex DA's office have agreed to review cases with defense attorneys.