FBI Forensic Analysts under Investigation for Falsifying Tests
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Faulty, and in some cases falsified, forensic work by FBI experts has raised questions about the validity of 100 criminal cases in the District of Columbia since the mid-1970s.
A legal review was launched earlier this year after a DC court overturned the conviction of Donald E. Gates, who served 28 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. FBI analyst Michael Malone, who testified at Gates’ 1981 trial that one of his hairs scientifically matched a hair found on the body of Georgetown student Catherine Schilling, is one of a half dozen forensic specialists whose testimony and work have come under scrutiny.
Patricia Riley, special counsel to U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr., has said her review of other cases has not turned up any indication that more convictions could be thrown out. Riley said her office performed a “preliminary review” of 78 of the cases and found “no misconduct,” according to The Washington Post. Nothing has been said so far about the remaining 22 cases to be reviewed.
Overturning Gates’ conviction as a result of DNA evidence marked the first time the U.S. Attorney’s office in DC had done such a thing.
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