According to Dahlia Lithwick with Slate, the FBI faked an entire field of forensic science. The heart of this story centers on "flawed testimony" and "overstated forensic matches" in criminal cases stretching over two decades. And this has been acknowledged by the Justice Department and FBI.
In one case, the government got its conviction with a piece of dog hair: "Santae Tribble served 28 years for a murder based on FBI testimony about a single strand of hair," writes Lithwick. "He was exonerated in 2012. It was later revealed that one of the hairs presented at trial came from a dog."
Lithwick characterizes this as pseudoscience in the witness box. Such a characterization doesn't appear to be an exaggeration, under the circumstances, given that pseudoscience is regularly confused with actual science, and that what's at stake is a person's freedom. Tribble spent nearly three decades of his life behind bars.
Forensic science may not be all it's cracked up to be. As criminal defense lawyers, this is something we've known for years.