News 09.11.08

Sunday on “60 Minutes”: faulty forensics in FBI lab

For more than four decades, experts from the FBI crime lab testified in court to a form of bullet analysis that has now been shown to be completely unreliable. They testified in thousands of cases, and sometimes provided the only evidence linking a defendant to a crime. A report scheduled to air Sunday on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” will provide an update on this issue, which was revealed in a joint investigation by the Washington Post and “60 Minutes” in late 2007.

Watch the full “60 Minutes” segment online here


The FBI announced in 2007 that its lab had suspended bullet lead analysis testing, which was previously used to match bullets to a specific manufacturer and even to a specific batch of bullets. The FBI said these tests were unreliable, and took steps to begin identifying possible wrongful convictions caused by faulty bullet lead analysis. The Innocence Network and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers joined together to form a task force to ensure that the FBI’s review of possible wrongful convictions was properly conducted.

Read a press release from the Innocence Network and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


Learn more about forensic oversight measures recommended by the Innocence Project to prevent wrongful convictions caused by faulty science


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