National Whistleblowers Center
3238 P Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FBI Crime Lab Whistleblower Featured on “The System with Joe Berlinger”
Episode 3: Flawed Forensics
Nearly 20 years later, the fates of two men are still entangled in the FBI’s faulty hair analysis from all those years ago. Both men were found guilty of multiple murders and now one is on the outside, recently released and waiting for a retrial, while the other is still on death row, hoping the State will allow him the DNA test he needs to keep him alive.
Washington, D.C. May 29, 2014. This Sunday, June 1, Dr. Frederic Whitehurst will be featured on “The System with Joe Berlinger.” Dr. Whitehurst appears in the third episode of this multi-part documentary series that explores the state of our justice system. This episode is entitled “Flawed Forensics.”
The interview follows up on whistleblower allegations first raised by Dr. Whitehurst in the 1990’s and confirmed by the Department of Justice Inspector General in 1998. For years, Dr. Whitehurst has urged the Justice Department to act on systemic flaws that he witnessed while serving as the top explosives expert in the FBI Crime Lab. The continued forensic scandal involving the FBI Lab grew out of these whistleblower allegations and the Justice Department’s failure to properly review cases impacted forensic fraud.
In response to Dr. Whitehurst’s original whistleblower disclosures, the Justice Department formed a Task Force to review thousands of cases impacted by Dr. Whitehurst’s allegations and to determine if any individuals were wrongly convicted.
Following his settlement with the FBI, Dr. Whitehurst established the Forensic Justice Project, as part of the National Whistleblower Center, to monitor the Justice Department’s review of cases handled by the FBI Lab to determine whether individuals were wrongfully convicted as a result of the FBI’s forensic fraud.
Although the Justice Department and FBI pledged to correct their mistakes, documents obtained by the NWC through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) showed that the government suppressed embarrassing mistakes at the expense of keeping behind bars innocent people who were wrongfully convicted.
In April of 2012, the Washington Post published a three part series on serious flaws in the Justice Department’s review of the FBI Lab scandal, and with the help of NWC in reviewing the FOIA records, it concluded that hundreds of criminal defendants who were convicted based in part on testimony of FBI Lab examiners, never were contacted by the government after the Justice Department had found problems affected their convictions.
General Counsel for the NWC David K. Colapinto stated, “This information never would have come to light without the perseverance of Dr. Whitehurst. After blowing the whistle on the misconduct at the FBI Crime Lab, he never stopped. After the headlines faded, he worked with the NWC for over 10 years to find out who was harmed.”
Background Information on Dr. Whitehurst