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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

FBI Admits to Decades of Flawed Testimony

Posted on in Chicago criminal defense lawyer

FBI, flawed testimony, DuPage County criminal defense attorneyMany criminal trials involve the presentation of evidence which has been analyzed at a law enforcement laboratory and is then offered into testimony by a person who is somehow associated with that laboratory. Our legal system is based on the fact that the expert is qualified in performing that analysis, and that the testimony, which is then entered into evidence, is based on knowledge and truth. However, a recent admission by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) decades of flawed FBI testimony raises questions on the legality of hundreds – if not thousands – of guilty convictions.

According to a statement released by the DOJ, there have been approximately 1,500 cases identified as requiring a review after determining that FBI experts from the agency’s microscopic hair comparison unit who testified at these trials overstated the existence of positive forensic matches. So far, the DOJ and FBI have reviewed 342 cases and found that the FBI provided flawed testimony in 268 trials. In 95 percent of those cases, the flawed testimony was in the prosecution’s favor.

There are still another 1,200 cases that the FBI has identified as needing review, including 700 cases in which prosecutors and/or law enforcement had not responded to the agency’s request for transcripts from the trials and other information. The cases involved come from all over the country for over two decades. There are 46 states, as well as the District of Columbia, in which state prosecutors and defendants are being notified of the situation in order to determine if these defendants have grounds for appeal. Four of the cases were tried in Illinois courtrooms. Thirty-two of the defendants who were found guilty were given the death penalty. Fourteen of those defendants have either already been executed or have died in prison.

In a statement, one U.S. Senator summed up the magnitude of the consequences of the FBI’s decades long cover-up, saying, “These findings are appalling and chilling in their indictment of our criminal justice system, not only for potentially innocent defendants who have been wrongly imprisoned and even executed, but for prosecutors who have relied on fabricated and false evidence despite their intentions to faithfully enforce the law.”

If you have been wrongly accused of a crime, contact an experienced Oak Brook criminal defense attorney to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected against an overzealous prosecution. Call the offices of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. today at 630-472-9700.

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