On death row for the wrong hair

“We have determined that the microscopic hair comparison analysis … included statements that exceeded the limits of science and was, therefore, invalid,” read one DOJ letter to Oktibbeha County District Attorney Deforest Allgood.

While there wasn’t a positive match, the FBI expert “stated or implied … that a questioned hair could be associated with a specific individual to the exclusion of all others.”

Rob Mink, an attorney for Manning, told The Daily Beast that the FBI’s hair analysis was drilled into jurors during closing arguments. “The hair testimony was emphasized repeatedly by the prosecutor who tried the case,” said Mink, a trial attorney in Jackson, Mississippi. The DA echoed the FBI’s claim that the sample likely belonged to a black man.

“We should all be very concerned and frightened that this sort of thing can happen,” Mink added. “A person can be convicted and sentenced to death, and science later shows the conviction is invalid and not reliable.”