I won't mention how the poor receive sentences far greater than the rich.
I will ignore, for now, how the rich and powerful can get probation for fatal DUIs, where any of us would have bars on our windows for years to come.
I won't even begin to mention the failed war on drugs, the skewed way in which minorities and the poor are arrested and convicted at far higher rates than rich, white males.
I will mention the FBI.
In the movie Hopscotch, Warren Beatty called them "FUCKING BUREAUCRATIC IMBECILES!" Apparently, he was ahead of his time.
FROM THE CHURCH OF INEFFABLE STUPIDITY:
First, a thumbnail sketch of the problem.
In 2005, hundreds of convictions were deemed "troubled" because the FBI finally admitted that its comparative bullet-lead analysis was little more than make-believe bullshit. This forensic method, developed after the Kennedy Assassination, was so flawed and worthless, that prosecutors (and eventually, the FBI) shit canned the whole project.
Hundreds of individuals were in legal limbo, many of whom were convicted on that flawed data. by 2006, dozens of innocent convicts had their sentences reversed, although the FBI fought tooth and nail to prevent any reversals.
- - - - - -
In 2012, more than 10,000 convictions came into question, when the FBI lab's hair and fiber analysis efforts turned out to be little more than guesswork and bullshit. Michael Malone, one of the top agents in the lab, was the worst and most frequent purveyor of lies and false evidence. Once the bogus nature of the FBI's "science" came to light, they reluctantly did the following:
a. Agreed to stop using the bogus science.
b. review all convictions where the bogus science was the key data for conviction.
c. notify defendants, convicts and prosecutors of the bad or manufactured evidence.
Sounds good, no? They agreed to review more than 10,000 cases and determine which convictions were wrong? Right? WRONG.
Here is what really happened:
However, concerned that errors were found in the “vast majority” of cases, the FBI restarted the review, grinding the process to a halt, said a government official who was briefed on the process. The Justice Department objected in January, but a standoff went unresolved until this month.Let's translate that into plain english.
Once the FBI reviewed its early findings, they found that the vast majority of their convictions were based on lies. So instead of completing their checks of two decades of convictions and wrongly decided cases, THEY STOPPED DOING ANY MORE CHECKS AND REVIEWS. That's right. Because their findings were so bad, they simply stopped looking.
Here more from WaPo:
The inquiry includes 2,600 convictions and 45 death-row cases from the 1980s and 1990s in which the FBI’s hair and fiber unit reported a match to a crime-scene sample before DNA testing of hair became common. The FBI had reviewed about 160 cases before it stopped, officials said.A disgusting travesty of justice.
The investigation resumed after the Justice Department’s inspector general excoriated the department and the FBI for unacceptable delays and inadequate investigation in a separate inquiry from the mid-1990s. The inspector general found in that probe that three defendants were executed and a fourth died on death row in the five years it took officials to reexamine 60 death-row convictions that were potentially tainted by agent misconduct, mostly involving the same FBI hair and fiber analysis unit now under scrutiny.
What is wrong with our legal system? What is going on in their heads? How DARE they stop looking for evidence of their wrongful convictions, simply because the more they looked, the more apparent the FBI lies and deceit became?
It may be that some of those convicted are actually guilty. But, given Illinois' experience on bad data and wrongful convictions, it is far more likely that many innocents were swept into prison based on FBI lies and fake scientific evidence.
(In Illinois, under then Gov. George Ryan, 167 death row convicts had their death sentences commuted to life terms. Of ten folks close to their execution of sentences, 4 were found to be completely innocent. Those same ratios of innocent convictions appeared in the remaining 157 cases over time. It is not known how many of those cases relied on bad FBI lab evidence.)
Innocent convictions - these actually constitute two crimes. The first, an innocent is sent to prison and even executed based on flawed, manufactured evidence by the FBI lab. The second, the actual criminal is still out there, ready to commit additional crimes.