Last month, the Department of Justice released a report from the Inspector General's Office about the work of the FBI in death penalty cases. It's shocking.
READ THE REPORT ONLINE HERE, "An Assessment of the 1996 Department of Justice Task Force Review of the FBI Laboratory."
Specifically, the Inspector General compiled a report on how the Federal Bureau of Investigation FAILED to give proper notice to Death Row inmates that their cases were being reviewed as possibly having had FBI experts giving bad, wrong, "inaccurate" testimony at their criminal trial.
That's right: the FBI crime lab testimony was wrong in cases where people were facing the death penalty.
From the Inspector General:
"[T]he FBI did not take sufficient steps to ensure that the capital cases were the Task Force’s top priority. We found that it took the FBI almost 5 years to identify the 64 defendants on death row whose cases involved analyses or testimony by 1 or more of the 13 examiners.
The Department did not notify state authorities that convictions of capital defendants could be affected by involvement of any of the 13 criticized examiners. Therefore, state authorities had no basis to consider delaying scheduled executions."
How bad is this? We know of THREE PEOPLE who were executed before the FBI let them or their lawyers know that this review of FBI testimony was underway.
There may be more.
The Inspector General is recommending that all physical evidence in a Death Penalty case be re-tested for 24 another Death Row inmates who either died while awaiting execution or who have already been executed.