In 2015, the FBI revealed the results of its review of hundreds of cases, dating back decades, in which members of its hair analysis unit had testified. In at least 90 percent of the cases, the FBI was forced to admit that its analysts had overstated the strength of evidence involving microscopic hair analysis. Unfortunately, hair analysis is not the only forensic science technique that has been challenged as either unscientific or less reliable than previously thought.
Advocates for criminal justice reform have been awaiting recommendations from the president's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, and they're are concerned. After observing recent policy pronouncements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who leads the task force, they worry the recommendations will signal a major federal crackdown on marijuana possession -- and for a controversial reason.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made another policy announcement, again to the dismay of criminal justice reformers and civil rights advocates. Speaking at a meeting of the National District Attorneys Association this week, he said he would again allow federal law enforcement agencies to take hold of property seized by local law enforcement.