Hundreds of jailed defendants across the country may have been convicted by a faulty FBI forensic tool, according to a joint investigation by the Washington Post and “60 Minutes.”
According to the National Academy of Sciences the technique, known as comparative bullet-lead analysis, was in 2004 deemed “unreliable and potentially misleading,” but the FBI has not yet alerted the affected defendants or courts of the potentially defective test, the Post reported.
In 2005 the FBI abandoned the science, but never went back to determine how many times it may have led to misinformation being passed on to jurors, nor did it release the records of at least 2,500 cases in which the analysis was performed, the Post reported.
The procedure uses chemistry to link bullets at a crime scene to those in possession of suspects.
Comparative bullet-lead analysis was first used in the investigation of the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963, according to the Post report.