Compiled by Holly Henrichsen
Assistant Web Content Manager
The FBI admits in making “errors” in hair analysis evidence provided by its forensic laboratory to U.S. courts to help secure convictions, including death penalty cases over more than 20 years. According to BBC News, the Office of the Inspector General reported that flawed forensics were used in at least 60 capitol punishment cases. The FBI admitted that errors were made by examiners regarding microscopic hair analysis in testimony context or laboratory reports. Data compiled by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project, which both seek to free inmates convicted on the basis of faulty evidence, report that of 28 examiners within the microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 misrepresent forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more that 95% of the 268 trials reviewed so far.
A U.S. Aircraft carrier has moved off the coast of Yemen today to intercept potential weapon shipments to the rebels fighting against the Yemeni government. Pentagon spokesman Steve Warren says that the ship was originally stationed in the Persian Gulf, but moved to Yemen because of increased tension. According to USA Today, The U.S. now has nine warships near the waters of Yemen. The move is considered significant, but isn’t necessarily a precursor to violent conflict.
Early this morning, a state district judge halted efforts by Texas Health Resources to pursue worker’s compensation for Ebola nurse Nina Pham. According to the Dallas Daily News, Pham contracted the deadly disease last October at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas as she was taking care of Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient in the United States. Pham says that she caught Ebola while she was taking care of Duncan and that the supervisor only gave her a print out guidelines she found on the internet. Pham, who is now recovered, still has ongoing health problems from the disease and experimental drugs. Texas Health Resources is not taking responsibility for Pham’s health.
Hundreds of people rallied at the capitol in Austin Saturday morning asking the state legislature to increase funding for public schools. According to the Austin American Statesman, the Save Texas Schools rally lasted two hours and speakers spoke out against the 2011 decision to cut public school funding and proposals to use public money to fund students going to a private or religious learning institution.