Massachusetts judge overturns 24-year-old rape conviction based on hair testimony that would not be admissible today

Defendant George D. Perrot has been in jail for the past 30 years, serving two concurrent life sentences for a rape. Both Perrot and the victim of the crime have repeatedly asserted that Perrot was not the man who committed the crime. A Massachusetts judge overturned the conviction in a 79-page decision describing a defendant who fell victim to subjective forensic science presented by an FBI agent who was unduly influenced by the prosecutor in Perrot’s case. The FBI agent used unreliable hair comparison techniques that the judge says would not be admissible at a trial today. While the holding is not binding on many criminal cases, the reasoning could influence thousands of past convictions that were based on hair comparison analysis.

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