Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Santae Tribble: RIP: “Santae Tribble was a warm, funny, deeply honorable man who was an unflinching advocate for his innocence,” said Levick, now legal director of the George C. Cochran Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi School of Law. “At a terrible personal price, he made a huge difference. His efforts to clear his name ultimately proved that the problems at the FBI lab were not confined to a single analyst; they were systemic.," Reporter Spencer S. Hsu, The Washington Post.

PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Tribble’s case and others uncovered by the D.C. Public Defender Service and featured in articles in The Washington Post helped trigger a federal review that in 2015 disclosed FBI examiners systematically overstated testimony in almost all trials in which they offered hair evidence against criminal defendants for two decades before 2000.
 The findings led the Justice Department to offer new DNA testing in cases with errors and launch a partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards. The findings also led to a review of other forensic disciplines for similar “testimonial overstatement,” although the Trump administration suspended the latter efforts.


PASSAGE TWO OF THE DAY: "Court-ordered DNA testing obtained by the public defender service confirmed that none of the 13 hairs retrieved from the crime scene stocking shared Tribble’s genetic profile or that of his alleged accomplice. Rather, the DNA testing found, the hairs came from three other human sources, except for one — which came from a dog — facts that FBI-trained examiners disputed or missed.Tribble’s “journey of injustice subjected [him] to all the horror, degradation, and threats to personal security and privacy inherent in prison life, each heightened by his youth, actual innocence, and life sentence,” D.C. Superior Court Judge John M. Mott wrote in 2016."


STORY: "Santae Tribble, whose wrongful conviction revealed FBI forensic hair match flaws dies at 59,"  by Reporter Spencer S. Hsu, published by The Washington Post on July 5, 2020. (Spencer S. Hsu is an investigative reporter, two-time Pulitzer finalist and national Emmy Award nominee. Hsu has covered homeland security, immigration, Virginia politics and Congress).

PHOTO CAPTION: 'Santae Tribble was convicted of murdering John McCormick in 1978. In 2012, DNA retesting proved none of the hair recovered could have come from Tribble.'