Reviewing 27 death penalty convictions
The FBI is reviewing their expert testimony in 27 death penalty cases.
I think it's time to end capital punishment trials and executions. Even one person executed in error, no matter the reason, is too many.
An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases has uncovered as many as 27 death penalty convictions in which FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked defendants to crimes with exaggerated scientific testimony, U.S. officials said.
The review terms could have wide repercussions. The FBI is examining more than 21,000 federal and state cases referred to the FBI LabÃ¢ÂÂs hair unit from 1982 through 1999 - by which time DNA testing of hair was routine - and the bureau has asked for help in finding cases before lab files were computerized in 1985.
Of 15,000 files reviewed to date, the FBI said a hair association was declared in about 2,100 cases. Investigators have contacted police and prosecutors in more than 1,200 of those cases to find out whether hair evidence was used in a conviction, in which case trial transcripts will be sought. However, 400 of those cases have been closed because prosecutors did not respond.
On May 7, MississippiÃ¢ÂÂs Supreme Court stayed the execution of Willie Jerome Manning for a 1992 double homicide hours before he was set to die by lethal injection.