Tilting at Windmills

July/August 2012 CSI: FBI

By Charles Peters

That Mueller’s efforts have not been totally successful, however, is suggested by a recent series on the FBI’s forensic labs, by Spencer Hsu of the Washington Post. Flaws in the labs’ procedures began to emerge a decade ago, and we were told a task force had been appointed to investigate. But the full results of the investigation have yet to emerge. And the Post is still finding convictions that were unjustly obtained because of defective lab work. The Post has also found that the work of only one analyst was reviewed by the task force, despite the fact that errors were made by others. Another troubling fact that emerges from the Post series is that when defective lab work is uncovered, the prosecutors are notified, but not the defense attorney.

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.