Categories:  'Criminal Justice & Incarceration Society'  

FBI Admits to Using Pseudoscience to Wrongfully Convict Felons

Hair analysis, used since the 1850s to put people behind bars, is pseudoscience and worthless as a method of identifying someone. Hair analysis as a [...]

Hair analysis, used since the 1850s to put people behind bars, is pseudoscience and worthless as a method of identifying someone. Hair analysis as a technique can only safely be used to rule out suspects in combination with other more reliable methods of DNA testing. The FBI and Justice Department admitted that, in over 95 percent of revisited trials, agents gave flawed testimony based on hair analysis. In these cases, some defendants were sentenced to death and have already been executed.

In 2016, the Justice Department adopted a new code instructing forensic examiners and prosecutors to abstain from using “reasonable scientific certainty” in reports or testimonies. New policies promoting transparency is an encouraging step towards more fair and reliable forensic evidence.

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Articles

Publication Date: 14/09/2016
Source: Equal Justice Initiative
Author:
Publication Date: 17/07/2015
Source: The New York Times
Author: Emily Bazelon
Publication Date: 22/04/2015
Source: Smithsonian.com
Author: Erin Blakemore
Publication Date: 4/22/15
Source: Smithsonian
Author: Erin Blakemore