32 minutes | May 17, 2021

Not My Fingerprint

May 20, 2004. A lawyer named Brandon Mayfield walks out of a Portland, Oregon courtroom a free man. About two weeks earlier, Mayfield was arrested by the FBI because they thought they had his fingerprint on a key piece of evidence in the investigation of a terrorist train bombing in Madrid, Spain earlier that year. But by this afternoon in May, that key evidence has completely fallen apart. Today: a case of mistaken identity. Why did the FBI arrest the wrong man? And how did this case change forensic science for good?


Thank you to our guests, Professor Simon Cole from UC Irvine, Steven Wax, author of Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror - A Public Defender's Inside Account, and Brandon Mayfield.


Thank you also to Judge Jones and former FBI agent Robert Jordan for speaking with us.


If you're interested in reading the Inspector General's Report cited, you can find it here: https://oig.justice.gov/sites/default/files/archive/special/s0601/PDF_list.htm

 

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