According to a report released by the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Justice, the FBI failed to provide timely notice to capital defendants, many of which were executed before being informed, that their cases were under review for possible inaccurate or misleading testimony provided by FBI experts.
The disturbing report states: “[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.”
At least 3 defendants were executed before the FBI made it known they were reviewing their cases for possible misleading testimony. The Inspector General recommended that physical evidence be retested in 24 of the cases, where the defendants have been executed or died on death row.
Read the Inspector General’s report here.