The United States Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Innocence Project, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have issued a report that calls into question more than 90% of trial convictions before 2000 where flawed FBI microscopic hair analysis was used to support the conviction. The NACDL, FBI, and the Philadelphia Inquirer have reported on this at these respective links.
Many Pennsylvania cases may similarly be based on flawed testimony and laboratory reports where microscopic hair comparison evidence was based on either the testimony of FBI examiners or experts trained by FBI examiners using these flawed investigatory methods. Cases where there was testimony about hair comparison or matching are immediately suspect. Time is of the essence in bringing to light convictions that may have turned on flawed analysis, as the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Review Act has a 60-day rule for newly discovered evidence that may have been triggered by the FBI news release. The Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is assembling a database of cases, curriculum vitae, reports and/or transcripts of experts to help identify and seek immediate judicial relief for anyone convicted under this dangerously flawed evidence.
Because the 60-day rule may already be running, if you or someone you know was convicted in a case where the Commonwealth used–at least in part–this flawed hair analysis, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer to understand your rights. Contact a Fairlie & Lippy attorney here as soon as possible for a free consultation.