5. The FBI’s Systemic Forensic Fraud in Crime Labs
In the early 1990s, Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, an attorney and chemist who worked at the FBI as a Supervisory Special Agent, noticed troubling practices in the in the bureau’s Investigation Laboratory.
There were “alterations of reports, alterations of evidence, folks testifying outside their areas of expertise in courts of law,” said Whitehurst. “[Really] what was going on was human rights violations. We have a right to fair trials in this country… And that’s not what was going on at the FBI lab.”
In 1994, he blew the whistle on the “systemic forensic fraud” he witnessed. Nothing happened. So he took his case to the Department of Justice. The FBI didn’t like that. Whitehurst was eventually chased out of the Bureau, but not before winning a $1.16 million settlement.
Unfortunately, however, the wheels of justice turn slowly at the Bureau.
“It wasn’t until ten years later that Whitehurst was finally vindicated,” notes the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund note, “when a scathing 500+ page study of the lab by the Justice Department Inspector General, Michael Bromwich, concluded major reforms were required in the lab.”
But by then, an untold number of people had been convicted with the help of tainted evidence—evidence the DOJ knew was tainted.
In 2012 the Washington Post published an extensive review of the FBI and DOJ failures to properly review the cases impacted by the FBI lab scandal, based on Whitehurst’s research.The EffingBI knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it. The Do'J' knew the evidence they were using was tainted at best, and neither of them did a damn thing about it. Partly "Protect the Bureau Reputation at all costs, including putting innocent people in prison" and partly "Who cares if this is tainted, we can put this guy away and mark the case as a win!"
As a result, the DOJ agreed to conduct yet another review of hair cases in collaboration with the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
But we're supposed to trust these bastards...