Case highlights harmful impact of flawed FBI hair testimony

Forensic errors in over 90% of cases mistakes seem trivial when Prosecutors say “other evidence” proves guilt.” This happens even when witnesses and informants recant, DNA is exculpatory, alibis prove true, and new research says old forensic methods were junk. The DA blame game continues after exonerations as well. Nearly any excuse is thrown out to see “if it sticks.” This post digs into all of this. My last few blogs echoes what is presented below by the WrongConvBlog. Also, take a look at their previous blogs on the subject.

Wrongful Convictions Blog

The Guardian has effectively put a human face here on the tragedy of the FBI’s admission this week that its agents presented flawed testimony in almost every trial in which they testified against criminal defendants for more than two decades before 2000.

The face is that of George Perrot, whose case was previously covered on the Wrongful Convictions Blog here and in which, it should be noted, this writer has played a small role.

Perrot was convicted as a teenager on rape charges in 1985 greatly on the testimony of FBI agent Wayne Oakes that a hair found on the victim’s bed was similar to a known sample of Perrot’s hair. It didn’t matter to the jury that the elderly victim said that the rape didn’t occur on the bed or that the long-haired, bearded Perrot didn’t resemble the short-haired, clean-shaven man who raped her. Oakes’ testimony was enough, an…

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About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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