The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.
Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.
The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.
As the Missouri National Guard prepared to deploy to help quell riots in Ferguson, Missouri, that raged sporadically last year, the guard used highly militarized words such as "enemy forces" and "adversaries" to refer to protesters, according to documents obtained by CNN.
"It's disturbing when you have what amounts to American soldiers viewing American citizens somehow as the enemy," said Antonio French, an alderman in St. Louis.
Two days after the deployment, an email from Boyle warned of potential consequences from using language that could be "construed as potentially inflammatory." Two days after that, notification was sent to commanding officers stating that "all reference of 'enemy' were changed to state 'criminal elements'."
Note that largely peaceful protesters went from being the "enemy" to being "criminal elements". An improvement, perhaps, but not really.