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U.S. reviewing 27 death penalty convictions for FBI forensic testimony errors

 Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An unprecedented federal review of old criminal cases has uncovered as many as 27 death penalty convictions in which FBI forensic experts may have mistakenly linked defendants to crimes with exaggerated scientific testimony, U.S. officials said.

Independent scientists critique suspect forensic work

Select a name below to see case reviews

It is not known how many of the cases involve errors, how many led to wrongful convictions or how many mistakes may now jeopardize valid convictions. Those questions will be explored as the review continues.

The discovery of the more than two dozen capital cases promises that the examination could become a factor in the debate over the death penalty. Some opponents have long held that the execution of a person confirmed to be innocent would crystallize doubts about capital punishment. But if DNA or other testing confirms all convictions, it would strengthen proponents’ arguments that the system works.

FBI officials discussed the review’s scope as they prepare to disclose its first results later this summer. The death row cases are among the first 120 convictions identified as potentially problematic among more than 21,700 FBI Laboratory files being examined. The review was announced last July by the FBI and the Justice Department, in consultation with the Innocence Project and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

The unusual collaboration came after The Washington Post reported last year that authorities had known for years that flawed forensic work by FBI hair examiners may have led to convictions of potentially innocent people, but officials had not aggressively investigated problems or notified defendants.

At issue is a once-widespread practice by which some FBI experts exaggerated the significance of “matches” drawn from microscopic analysis of hair found at crime scenes.

Since at least the 1970s, written FBI Laboratory reports typically stated that a hair association could not be used as positive identification. However, on the witness stand, several agents for years went beyond the science and testified that their hair analysis was a near-certain match.

The new review listed examples of scientifically invalid testimony, including claiming to associate a hair with a single person “to the exclusion of all others,” or to state or suggest a probability for such a match from past casework.

Whatever the findings of the review, the initiative is pushing state and local labs to take similar measures.

For instance, the Texas Forensic Science Commission on Friday directed all labs under its jurisdiction to take the first step to scrutinize hair cases, in a state that has executed more defendants than any other since 1982.

Separately, FBI officials said their intention is to review and disclose problems in capital cases even after a defendant has been executed.


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First federal unit set up to correct wrongful convictions

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/u-s ... ion-cases/

September 14, 2014 at 2:31 PM EDT

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington has set up the first federal unit to identify and investigate cases that ended in wrongful convictions, Reuters reports.

“This new unit will work to uncover historical injustices and to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to prevent such tragedies in the future,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. told The Washington Post before the formal announcement on Friday.

The creation of the Conviction Integrity Unit came after the U.S. Attorney’s Office spent four years reviewing more than 2,000 cases involving FBI analysis of fiber and hair evidence. The review has already garnered a handful of exonerations for individuals convicted of crimes committed in the 1980s.

Last week, Henry Lee McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, were declared innocent after serving thirty years for the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in North Carolina. McCollum, who was on death row, and Brown, who was serving a life sentence, were freed after DNA evidence linked another man to the crime, the New York Times reports.

In July, Kevin Martin, 50, who was convicted of the 1982 killing of a woman in Washington D.C. was exonerated based on DNA evidence. The U.S. Attorney’s Office challenged original forensic evidence of hair that linked Martin to the crime, according to the Washington Post.

The first of the exonerations from the U.S. Attorney’s reevaluation and new DNA evidence came in 2009 for Donald Gates. Gates was convicted of the 1981 rape and murder of a Georgetown University student based in part on hair evidence.

The results of the U.S. Attorney’s Office review are being shared with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, a nonprofit dedicated to correcting and preventing wrongful convictions in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The organization is located at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

All four men had served well beyond the average sentence typical of DNA exonerees, according to the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which notes the average sentence served is 13.6 years.

One of the most publicized cases of wrongful conviction and exoneration in recent years is the case of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr. and Kharey Wise, otherwise known as the Central Park Five, in 2002. The five black and Latino men were convicted as youths of the beating and raping of a female jogger in Central Park in 1989.

On Sept. 5, the men were awarded $41 million in a settlement, roughly $1 million for each year of their imprisonment.

The federal government, 29 states an

Posts: 8,863
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Intimidated by FBI, Witnesses Claim 9/11 'cover-up in progress' in Florida

FBI agents harassed and intimidated witnesses to the 9/11 terrorist conspiracy’s activities in Florida, issuing warnings to avoid talking with reporters, say current and former residents in Venice, Florida.

At least one eyewitness, who knew Mohamed Atta because he lived next door for a time, received regular visits for over six months after the attack from FBI agents eager to ensure she continued to remain silent. Several said they felt unfairly singled out because what they saw and heard is at considerable variance with the official story of the terrorist cadre’s time in Florida.

An American girl named Amanda Keller, for example, briefly lived with Mohamed Atta in Venice, according to both local news reports and numerous eyewitnesses.

She possessed presumably ‘scorching-hot’ details of life with a terrorist ringleader. But we never saw her being interviewed by Diane Sawyer.

The FBI had other ideas.
A total blackout on information

With reporters literally camped at her doorstep, Keller told us she had been so intimidated into silence by the FBI that she spoke barely a dozen words. “The newspaper quote you read was accurate,” she said. “‘I can’t really say anything. I’m afraid I’ll get in trouble.’"

“A N.Y. Times reporter named Chris—young, tall, kind of heavy, dark hair and a dark goatee—came to my house,” she explained. “And he was mad because I wouldn’t talk to him. This dude would NOT leave me alone. I stood outside arguing with him forever, and he was trying to trip me up and get me to say something.”

"And so I called the FBI agent that had been calling me—right while this reporter guy was standing there—and told him this reporter won’t leave me alone. The agent said let me talk to him, so I handed him the phone. And I don’t know what was said, but after that he left me alone.”

Why had she remained silent? "Because of the intimidation by the FBI,” she replied. “They told me not to talk to anybody, to keep my mouth shut."

"Peeling hundreds from his fanny pack"

The FBI didn’t confine their menacing visits just to people who had lived with the terrorist ringleader. Some got in trouble just for having lived next-door, like Stephanie Frederickson, a pleasant 50-year old housewife who made the grave mistake of living in an apartment beside the apartment that Mohamed Atta moved into with Amanda Keller.

“At first, right after the attack, they (the FBI) told me I must have been mistaken in my identification," Frederickson stated. “Then they would insinuate that I was lying. Finally they stopped trying to get me to change my story. After that they just stopped by once a week to make sure I hadn’t been talking to anyone.

Frederickson shrugged. "Who was I going to tell? Everybody around here already knew.”

The Sandpiper Apartments manager, Charlie Grapentine, is a grizzled Korean vet in his early 60’s. The FBI did not welcome his recollections any more warmly than they had those of Stephanie Frederickson.

"Atta always carried a fanny pack around his waist,” Grapentine told us. "I remember Amanda once telling him that she needed some new clothes, and he reached in and peeled off a few hundreds from a thick roll of cash he had stuffed inside the fanny pack.”


But, we all have careers to think about...

Grapentine turns grim on the subject of the FBI's treatment. "They called me a liar, and told me to keep my mouth shut," stated the ex-marine through clenched teeth. “Nobody likes to hear that: that they didn't see something they know they saw.”

Keller, Frederickson, and Grapentine, are just three examples of the apparently officially-sanctioned silencing of eyewitnesses in Florida to the terrorist's activities.

They are by no means alone in having felt official pressure to keep silent.

Longboat Key fire captain Carroll Mooneyhan was waiting in the lobby of the hotel President Bush was staying at the night before the attack, for Bush to come out for his morning run when he saw something he shouldn’t have. Something pretty big, actually…

After talking with local reporters he clammed up. When we finally reached him by phone, Mooneyhan, who witnessed the launch of an attempt to assassinate the President, told us: “I was visited by the CIA and the Secret Service after 9/11. I have a career to think about. I have to be careful what I say.”

And that was the last we heard from him.

A lesson for our times

You can count the number of investigative journalists who have followed the trail of the 9/11 terrorist conspiracy during their time in the U.S. on one hand and pick your nose at the same time.

Its time for a change.

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9/11 and Other Deep State Crimes Teleconference
wtc7 pentagon
Draft minutes for June 26, 2019

July 23, 2019
Ann Hendricks, Secretary 9/11 Monthly Teleconference Call
Draft minutes for the June 26, 2019 regular conference call

Present were:
Cheryl Curtiss, Teleconference co-facilitator, Connecticut 9/11 Truth
Craig McKee, Teleconference co-facilitator, Truth and Shadows
Ann Hendricks, Teleconference secretary
Marti Hopper, Colorado 9/11 Truth
Barbara Honegger, Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry
Peter Michael Ketcham, formerly of NIST
Nita Renfrew, New York 9/11 Truth
John O’Malley, DC911Truth
Cheri Aspen, San Diego 9/11 Truth
James Hufferd, 9/11 Grassroots
Cat McGuire, 9/11 Truth Outreach
Karl Golovin
Steve Stodola, Boston 9/11 Truth
Dan Hennen, TAP
Jonathan Mark, Fly By News
Zander Arena
Doug West
Gerald Pechenuk, LarouchePac
David Rolde, Anti-imperialist activist

The minutes of the May 29, 2019 regular conference call were APPROVED.

Book published
James Hufferd spoke about his latest book, Colonel Crystal’s Parallel Universe: A Defense Only Military. This is a novel about a top flight commander in Afghanistan and Iraq who retires and , disillusioned with the U.S. Military, writes down his grievances about U.S. foreign policy. He develops a concept of a defense only military. James said, “All countries have this except for the United States. Russia and China each have one foreign base, but the U.S. has over a thousand military bases and installations on foreign soil.” This novel is James’s 10th book and is available on Amazon and other online bookstores. James’s website is http://911truth.org/grassroots-contacts/

Apollo lunar missions
Jonathan Mark of FlyBy News has been considering the implausibility of the Apollo moon landings, in part because NASA now states it has to learn how to protect the astronauts before they can send them beyond low earth orbit. After 10 years of seeing the public’s resistance to 9/11 facts, Jonathan decided to look to the subject of the future, the exploration of outer space. “They will either have to keep lying about what they claim to have done, using 1960s technology, and keep suppressing the truth, or, they will have to own up to it. And if they own up to it, this could redirect the country because of the popular uprising of all these people realizing they’ve been under cognitive dissonance most of their lives and they will demand change.” Jonathan’s website is https://www.flybynews.com

Strategy for victory
Gerald Pechenuk’s presentation regarded ending perpetual war and the surveillance nightmare of the post 9/11 era. He spoke of Bill Binney’s position that Russia never hacked the DNC computers and the effort to get Binney to testify of this before Congress. “As a result of this lie, that Russia hacked the DNC, the Congress passed a bill that the United States can carry out cyber warfare against Russia, China, Iran and North Korea without it going through the President.” Gerald also told about the petition to have Lyndon Larouche exonerated, which is posted on their website: ttps://larouchepac.com

Colorado Pentagon conference
Barbara Honegger and Bonnie Faulkner attended the May Pentagon conference sponsored by Scientists for 9/11 Truth, and Barbara provided a review. She met Warren Stutt, who had analysed the alleged Flight 77 Flight Data Recorder. His findings were that it indicated a north path for the plane that approached the Pentagon. The conference videos are available at http://www.scientistsfor911truth

Barbara’s rebuttal video can be found here:

In response to a question, Barbara presented her theory about why some in the Truth Movement have been accelerating their support for the claim that Flight 77 really hit the Pentagon. She responded that it might be related to the release of the 28 pages and to the ongoing lawsuit by 9/11 family members against the government of Saudi Arabia, which could not succeed if Flight 77 is shown not to have hit the Pentagon.

Karl Golovin told of attending a Brookings Institution event on May 29 and asking General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whether a false flag terrorist attack could be used to lead the U.S. into war against Iran. Kevin Barrett wrote an article about this and included the C-Span video link: https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/05/30/dunford/
Barbara Honegger mentioned two developments with potential to increase 9/11 truth awareness. A friend of hers attended a meeting in Europe and discussed 9/11 truth with Admiral Mike Rogers, recently retired NSA director, who seemed to show a positive reaction when learning about the Lawyers’ Committee efforts. Additionally, a film production company that supplies documentaries to Japanese mainstream television is now producing a film about 9/11, after learning of the Lawyers’ Committee Grand Jury Petition.
Barbara also gave an update on September 11 anniversary event planning: Professor Daniele Ganser will be the keynote speaker at the Zurich event; Lawyers’ Committee members will also be speaking. The videos from this eight-hour event will be available on YouTube. A Dutch newspaper about 9/11 is currently being distributed in a different European city every weekend. It will be published in English and be available at the Zurich event. Mick Harrison will be speaking at the 9/11 film festival in Oakland, CA. David Meiswinkle and Andrew Kreig are planning an event for either Washington, D.C., or New York City.
Cheryl Curtiss said the Red Pill Expo in Hartford was most uplifting and encouraging. Richard Gage received a tremendous response and two standing ovations.
Cheryl noted that the July 31 teleconference speakers will be Christopher Bollyn, Adam Ruff, and Karl Golovin.
Call began at 8 p.m. EST and adjourned at 10:55 p.m. EST/5 p.m. to 7:55 p.m. PST. Audio of the June call can be heard here: http://truthandshadows.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/062619.mp3. The next monthly teleconference will take place on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST. Agenda items should be emailed to facilitator Cheryl Curtiss (chercurt@aol.com) no later than one week before the call. Please use subject line “Agenda item for 911 Truth Teleconference.” Please include a brief description of your item and any relevant links you’d like participants to be aware of, together with your estimate of the number of minutes your agenda item will require. If you would like to join the teleconference list serve, contact Craig McKee (craigmckee911@gmail.com), and anyone who would like information such as links included in the minutes should email Ann Hendricks (hendricks_ann@yahoo.com).
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