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Fourth echelon

FBI’s Amazing Trick to Avoid Accountability

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Though FBI reports are often admitted as evidence, they are sometimes so unreliable that even a federal judge once refused to be interviewed unless he could review the report first.

Matt Connolly is a former Deputy District Attorney of Norfolk County, Massachusetts

How credible are the reports of interviews filed by FBI agents working a case? In fact, such reports are known to be so unreliable that in one case, a federal judge refused to be interviewed by agents unless he was allowed to review their report and make corrections.

That case was more than a decade ago, but the problems raised by these FBI reports—which are often offered in evidence during criminal trials—are very much current. Indeed, the judge in the recent trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev specifically warned the jurors against giving too much credence to such a report.

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The case of the judge who insisted on fact-checking the FBI’s work is particularly instructive. This occurred during the much-watched 2002 trial of retired FBI agent John Connolly, the handler of the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger.

Connolly was charged with, among other things, obstruction of justice involving a letter Connolly sent to the presiding federal judge, Mark Wolf. Wolf’s testimony was needed to prove the obstruction.

As is standard practice, prosecutors asked that Wolf submit to an FBI interview in advance of any courtroom testimony. The  interview reports, commonly called 302 reports, are named after the form on which they are written.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/FBI’s_Amazing_Trick_to_Avoid_Accountability/44959/0/38/38/Y/M.html

 
 
 

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