Federal Court in the Eastern District of Virginia Denies Defendant Relief Based on Hair Comparison Testimony

Defendant Gary D’Angelo McDuffie was convicted of charges including bank and post office robbery in a 1999 trial. McDuffie argued that an expert’s testimony regarding hair comparison analysis violates the standards set by the FBI and the Innocence Project in 2012. He was denied relief because he failed to demonstrate that “the evidence would probably result in an acquittal at a new trial.” Additionally, the court noted that the expert conditioned the results of the forensic testing by stating that hair comparison analysis cannot be used to positively identify an individual.

United States v. McDuffie, 2016 WL 1117481 (2016).

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1 Comment

  1. Any acceptable hair microscopy testimony or report should contain a statement about hair comparisons not being a form of positive personal identification; after a certain point (not sure when), ALL positive association reports from the FBI had this in them. Given the “rules of the review”, as outlined by NACDL, not sure why this didn’t mitigate those rules: Weight over admissibility?


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