The FBI has “admitted flaws in hair analysis”, according to the headline of an article in the Washington Post last weekend in what may be the most fantastical understatement ever; in plainer language, almost every examiner in their ‘elite’ unit gave testimony that was A. favorable to prosecutors and B. exaggerated wildly.
While it doesn’t mean that every case they testified in resulted in a wrongful conviction, it does mean that the justice system willingly allowed false testimony about an infinitely disprovable forensic science. If they are willing to fake hard, physical evidence on such a massive scale, how can anyone not doubt the myriad cases decided on nothing more than words?
Hair matching, bite analysis, DNA exclusion, these are pillars of the justice system, and yet each has been revealed to be far, far less accurate than anyone could have imagined. Doubts about some of these disciplines have existed for years and yet prosecutors continue to use them to win cases. How could one even begin to study whether or not an expert witness was overstating their feelings, their experience, or their capabilities? It would be impossible.