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Monday, March 29, 2021

Beware of Crime Scene Hair and Fiber Identification

Up until the mid-1990s, hair and fiber experts were pushing the envelope by identifying crime scene hair follicles and carpet and garment fibers the way one would identify a latent fingerprint. In hundreds if not thousands of cases, criminal defendants were sent to prison on the strength of this form of expert testimony. When DNA analysis came on the scene, abuses in hair and fiber identification were exposed, and the scientific unreliability of these matches were dramatically exposed. One of the worst examples of this form of forensic misidentification involved a FBI Laboratory hair and fiber "expert" who testified in hundreds of criminal trials nationwide.

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