Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled.
In one Texas case, Benjamin Herbert Boyle was executed in 1997, more than a year after the Justice Department began its review. Boyle would not have been eligible for the death penalty without the FBI’s flawed work, according to a prosecutor’s memo.
The review was performed by a task force… in the 1990s. The inquiry took nine years… but the findings were never made public.
“The government has hidden behind the veil of secrecy to shield these abuses despite official assurances that justice would be done,” said David Colapinto, general counsel of the National Whistleblowers Center.
A common theme among reform-minded lawyers and experts is taking the oversight of the forensic labs away from police and prosecutors.
Monopolies in products and services stagnates innovation while driving up prices. Property rights enforcement and protection from violence is a service, and it is clearly not immune from the pernicious forces of monopoly.
Competition is the only way to ensure quality. If we do not introduce competition into the prosecution of property rights violations we will continue to be murdered by the state for crimes we did not commit. Low quality and high prices in this arena are deadly. It’s not a fantasy. Privatization is the only way to prevent further human rights abuses at the hands of monopolistic, overzealous, lazy prosecutors and the so-called Justice Department in bed with them.