100 D.C. Cases Checked For Possibly Falsified, Inaccurate FBI Tests


The U.S. attorney’s office Washington, D.C., has found more than 100 cases since the mid-1970s that need to be reviewed because of potentially falsified and inaccurate tests by FBI analysts, reports the Washington Post. The report stems from an internal investigation by prosecutors after the exoneration in December of Donald Gates, who was falsely imprisoned for 28 years for the 1981 rape and slaying of a college student. The review was started to examine 20 cases in which Justice Department officials questioned the validity of statements made by six FBI forensic analysts who were identified in a 1997 report by the department’s office of inspector general.

After weeks of reviewing FBI lab reports, court transcripts, criminal history databases and police records, Patricia A. Riley, a special counsel to U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, concluded that only the Gates case resulted in a wrongful conviction. A preliminary review of 78 cases found “no misconduct.” Prosecutors have presented no findings on the remaining 22 cases. Sandra Levick of the Washington, D.C., Public Defender Service, said the new report is “troubling” because “the government still does not know the number of people hurt by testimony from discredited FBI analysts, although it was given names beginning in 1997.”

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