by team UAB, hjt
I wonder if this means that the FBI and others will now have to go back and reexamine cases is which a conviction was made solely based on the bullet lead chemical analysis. How do you get to be a forensic metallurgist?
|In 1997, a jury convicted Michael Behm of murdering a man in South River, N.J. The only physical evidence linking Behm to the murder was bullet fragments from the crime scene. An FBI examiner testified in court that the fragments chemically matched bullets from a box of ammunition Behm had at his home.|
Since that trial, a growing body of research has revealed that the practice of chemically matching bullets is seriously flawed. This February, a report released by the National Academies in Washington D.C. called on the FBI to revise its rules on interpreting data from chemical analyses of bullets and to limit how its examiners testify about such data in the courtroom. The FBI has used chemical analysis of bullets in some 2,500 investigations since the early 1980s. Among those, there were 500 cases in which the prosecution introduced such analyses as evidence during trials. But the story of bullet chemical analysis has even broader implications; it emphasizes the need to keep science honest, especially in the courtroom.