News Release

Lawyers' Group Urges DOJ to Act on FBI Lab Investigation Results

Need for Immediate Notification, Electronic Availability of Documents

Washington, DC (April 25, 1998) -- At its Spring Board of Directors meeting in Santa Monica, CA, April 25, 1998, the Board unanimously passed a resolution calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to promptly notify all persons whose prosecutions and convictions may have been affected by misconduct in the FBI Laboratory. The resolution also calls for the Justice Department to make its FBI Lab investigation records electronically available over the Internet.

The text of the Resolution follows:

WHEREAS, a report by the Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice disclosed serious misconduct and tainted laboratory results in evidence examinations at the FBI Laboratory,

AND WHEREAS, such misconduct and tainted laboratory examinations may have caused the unjust and improper incarceration of persons convicted of serous crimes,

AND WHEREAS, the right of a convicted person to seek relief from an unjust and unfair conviction, through a federal writ of habeas corpus, is limited to one year after the conviction,

IT IS RESOLVED, in the interests of Justice and Due Process of Law, that the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers calls upon the United States Department of Justice to promptly and directly notify all persons, and their counsel, whose prosecutions and convictions may be affected by FBI Laboratory examinations called into question by the Inspector General's report and subsequent disclosures of misconduct and tainted laboratory results. The Department of Justice should also promptly provide extensive public notice, through the electronic release on the Internet, of the thousands of pages of investigation underlying the report of the Office of the Inspector General. 

Approved by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers this 25th day of April 1998. 

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The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.