Dr. Frederic Whitehurst

Earlier today, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) joined a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the Supreme Court in support of FBI whistleblower John Parkinson’s petition for certiorari, seeking review of the Federal Circuit’s decision denying veterans’ preference-eligible FBI employees the right to raise whistleblowing as an affirmative defense in an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

The amicus brief, filed on behalf FBI whistleblowers Michael German, Robert Kobus, Jane Turner, and Frederic Whitehurst, as well as the NWC and the Project on Government Oversight, details why the Department of Justice’s procedures for FBI whistleblowers are not an adequate substitute for a veterans’ preference-eligible FBI employee raising a whistleblower claim in an MSPB case.

Continue Reading NWC Joins SCOTUS Amicus Brief with FBI Whistleblowers

The National Whistleblower Center released a new video featuring four prominent whistleblowers who share their personal stories of blowing the whistle and the backlash they faced for doing the right thing. Whistleblowers Change the World,  highlights the crucial role whistleblowers serve in exposing corruption at all levels of society and why we need a sustained grassroots movement to ensure the legal protections they require are upheld.

Continue Reading NWC Releases New Video: “Whistleblowers Change the World”

Did you know that you can take two strands of hair from your own head and they may not match? Yet the FBI used forensic hair analyses for decades in the prosecution of criminal cases.  Last night Al Jazeera America’s Fault Lines program featured this issue.  FBI Whistleblower, Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, appeared in “Under the Microscope: The FBI Hair Cases” and discussed the flaws in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation crime lab’s hair analyses. 

As head of the National Whistleblower Center’s Forensic Justice Project, Dr. Whitehurst compiled data from cases in which the FBI had given flawed testimony on hair analysis and compared that to the information that was released by the FBI and DOJ under FOIA. Dr. Whitehurst first raised these systemic problems at the FBI Lab more than 20 years ago.

In April 2015 the FBI admitted the FBI Lab’s forensic hair analyses used for decades in state and federal criminal cases were flawed and inaccurate more that ninety percent (90%) of the time. The recent reviews reported by the Washington Post in April were the direct result of Dr. Whitehurst’s initial whistleblower disclosures between 1995-1997.  Although Dr. Whitehurst was highly criticized and subjected to severe retaliation by the FBI for raising these concerns more 20 years ago, the admission by the FBI demonstrates that he was right. 

Also appearing on the program was David K. Colapinto, General Counsel of the National Whistleblower Center who has served as Dr. Whitehurst’s attorney for the past 20+ years.

Attorney David K. Colapinto discusses the FBI Crime Lab's flawed hair analyses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Click photo to play video preview.

Al-Jazeera will replay this program on Sunday, August 23 at 9pm ET and Monday, August 24 at 1 am and 4:30 am ET.

Click here to read previous blogs on this issue.

The National Whistleblower Center issued the following Press Statement today:

FBI Admission of Crime Lab “Errors” In Hair Cases Vindicates Whistleblower

Washington, D.C. April 20, 2015. Yesterday, the Washington Post published a front-page article reporting that the FBI has finally admitted the FBI Lab’s forensic hair analyses used for decades in state and federal criminal cases were flawed and inaccurate more that ninety percent (90%) of the time.

These systemic problems at the FBI Lab were first raised by FBI whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst more than 20 years ago.  The latest reviews reported by the Washington Post are also the direct result of Dr. Whitehurst’s initial whistleblower disclosures between 1995-1997.  Although Dr. Whitehurst was highly criticized and subjected to severe retaliation by the FBI for raising these concerns more 20 years ago, yesterday’s admission by the FBI demonstrates that he was right.  Continue Reading NWC Releases Press Statement Regarding FBI Crime Lab Errors

Washington, D.C.  February 24, 2015.  On Wednesday, February 25, at 2:30 p.m. (ET), Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden will host a press conference to launch the Whistleblower Protection Caucus in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  Sen. Grassley is the chairman of the caucus and Sen. Wyden is the vice-chairman.

A number of whistleblowers and whistleblower advocates will also be in attendance, including FBI crime lab whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst and Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center.

Senator Grassley, the leading champion of whistleblower protection on Capitol Hill, announced the formation of a Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus on the 25th Anniversary of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 this past April 10th.  Continue Reading Press Alert: Press Conference Wednesday to Launch Whistleblower Protection Caucus

The following is from guest contributor Jon C. Hopwood.
This article was originally published in 2009 on Yahoo Voice and is reprinted here by permission of the author.

Summary: Donald Eugene Gates, who was convicted of the 1982 rape-murder of a Caucasian college coed, was released on the basis of new DNA evidence.

Donald Eugene Gates, a 58 year-old African American wrongfully convicted in 1982 of the rape-murder of Caucasian college coed Catherine Schilling, was freed by the D.C. Superior Court after a DNA test revealed that he could not be the culprit.

The prosecution of Gates was heavily dependent on the testimony of F.B.I. Crime Lab analyst Michael P. Malone, who testified that two hairs found on Schilling’s body came from an African American male. Schilling, who was a student at Georgetown University, was murdered in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. in 1981.

Gates, who has always maintained that he was innocent of the crime, had been imprisoned for nearly 30 years until ordered release by Senior Judge Fred B. Ugast. Ugast had overseen his trial back in 1982.

In 1988, Ugast had ordered a DNA test of the evidence used to convict Gates, but DNA testing a generation ago was primitive. The more sophisticated DNA testing of the 21st Century proved that Gates was right: He was innocent.

Crime Lab Corruption

Since the Gates trial, former F.B.I. agent Michael Malone has become notorious as an unreliable and unethical expert witness who likely committed perjury in hundreds of trials. Dr. Frederic Whitehurst of the National Whistleblower Center’s Forensic Justice Project first revealed the widespread corruption at the F.B.I. Crime Lab back in 1993, when he, too, was an F.B.I. employee.   Continue Reading Man Wrongfully Convicted by Perjured FBI Testimony Freed After 28 Years in Prison; Donald Eugene Gates Released on Basis of New DNA Evidence

The following is from guest contributor Jon C. Hopwood.
This article was originally published in 2009 on Yahoo Voice and is reprinted here by permission of the author.

Summary:  The testimony of Special Agent Michael P. Malone was instrumental in convicting Donald Eugene Gates of a rape-murder he did not commit. Gates was exonerated but scores of others convicted with Malone’s testimony are still in jail.

The testimony of Special Agent Michael P. Malone, an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab, was instrumental in convicting Donald Eugene Gates of a rape-murder he did not commit. After spending 27 years in prison, Gates was exonerated by a federal judge who denounced Malone and excoriated the Federal government for not revealing to him in a timely manner that Malone’s testimony amounted to perjury.

The Washington Post, in its lead editorial on Friday, December 18, 2009, lambasted the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for failing to report that it knew that Malone’s testimony was bogus. Donald Gates finally achieving justice, but scores of others convicted with Malone’s testimony are still in jail.

“Justice Delayed”

Donald Eugene Gates, a 58 year-old African American wrongfully convicted in 1982 of the rape-murder of Caucasian college coed Catherine Schilling, was exonerated by D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Fred B. Ugast on December 18, 2009. Ugast, the judge who oversaw Gates’ original trial, had earlier freed him after a DNA test revealed that he could not be the man who killed Schilling.

Due to the improper conduct of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the Gates case, Schilling’s rapist-killer remains free.

The prosecution of Gates was heavily dependent on the testimony of F.B.I. Crime Lab analyst Michael P. Malone, an F.B.I. agent, who testified that two hairs found on Schilling’s body came from an African American male. Schilling, a Georgetown University student, was murdered in 1981.

The Washington Post, in the lead editorial in its Friday edition that came out before Ugast exonerated Gates, quoted a statement Gates made at the time of his trial, 27 years ago: “I didn’t kill her. I never saw her. I am sorry she died, because her death has ruined my life.”  Continue Reading Who is Michael P. Malone? Corrupt F.B.I. Agent’s Testimony Sent Innocent Man to Prison; Donald Eugene Gates was Convicted of Rape-Murder He Did Not Commit