VIA THE WASHINGTON POST:
The U.S. attorney’s office in the District 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.
The report, filed in D.C. Superior Court late Friday, stems from an internal investigation by prosecutors after the exoneration in December of Donald E. Gates, who was falsely imprisoned for 28 years for the 1981 rape and slaying of a Georgetown University student.
The review was launched 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 newly appointed U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., concluded that only the Gates case resulted in a wrongful conviction.
During the review, Justice identified an additional 100 cases since the 1970s involving the suspect FBI experts. Riley wrote that since December, her office performed a “preliminary review” of 78 of the cases and found “no misconduct.” Prosecutors have presented no findings so far on the remaining 22 cases.
“We intend to fully research the remainder of the cases to determine whether additional disclosures are required or appropriate,” Riley wrote. A database of the FBI analysts names has been created to allow prosecutors to collect and research cases. None of the defendants in those cases has been publicly identified, but prosecutors said they intend to contact defense attorneys.
But Sandra Levick, chief of the special litigation division for the District’s 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.”
One of the analysts accused of providing false testimony was Michael P. Malone, who testified in the Gates’s trial that one of Gates’s hairs scientifically matched a hair found on the body of Georgetown student Catherine Schilling, 21. DNA testing 28 years later proved that was not true.
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