Thursday, April 28, 2016
The FBI is scrambling to correct flawed forensic analyses that go back decades. In this case, it turns out that hair sample examiners had given inaccurate testimony on matches in 95 percent of their cases. The FBI found that 26 of 28 hair examiners in its forensic laboratory overstated evidence in support of prosecuting attorneys. It is a black eye for the Bureau, but one the FBI is trying to correct. The question arises of how this happened in the first place. The answer appears to be that the forensic examiners were eager to put "bad guys" away and saw no problem in confirming matches that weren't really there. This is one more instance that shows how dangerous the power of government can be and why it needs to be restrained. It is hard to give kudos to the FBI for cleaning up a mess of its own making, but there should be some recognition of the Bureau's efforts. It could be resisting efforts to fix the problem -- a not uncommon response from bureaucracies. What the FBI can't fix are 14 executions of criminals based on hair sample evidence.