This Wednesday from 1-2:30 pm EST, a free NACDL Webinar on the FBI microscopic hair comparison review – and a discussion of best practices for state and local reviews. Register and read more here. Here is a description:
In 2012, the FBI and DOJ, in conjunction with the Innocence Project and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, began a review of criminal cases in which FBI microscopic hair comparison examiners gave testimony or conducted lab work. As a result of that effort, the FBI has admitted that the examiners in the elite Hair and Fiber Unit of the FBI Crime Lab gave erroneous testimony in at least 90% of the hundreds of microscopic hair comparison cases reviewed.
Although the results of the FBI Review are staggering, they only represent a fraction of the problem caused by flawed microscopic hair comparison testimony. For over 40 years, the FBI also trained thousands of state and local forensic analysts from 48 states. This means that thousands of criminal convictions could be tainted by the work of state and local analysts trained by the FBI to provide the same type of flawed hair comparison testimony. In February, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to governors encouraging states to institute their own microscopic hair comparison reviews. Currently, organizations in over a dozen states are reviewing the work done by state and local hair examiners.
During this Webinar, you will hear an update on the FBI Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis Review, discover best practices for developing a state or local review, learn from Iowa and Massachusetts which are already engaged in reviews of their labs, and have your questions answered so that you can successfully undertake a review in your state.