Home News Press Room Press Releases FBI Clarifies Reporting on Microscopic Hair Comparisons Conducted by the Laboratory

FBI Clarifies Reporting on Microscopic Hair Comparisons Conducted by the Laboratory

Washington, D.C. July 13, 2012
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

The FBI Laboratory still conducts microscopic hair comparisons. There is no reason to believe the FBI Laboratory employed “flawed” forensic techniques.

The validity of the science of microscopic hair comparison is not at issue; however, based on recent cases, the FBI and Department of Justice are committed to undertaking a review of historical cases that occurred prior to the regular use of mitochondrial DNA testing to ensure that FBI testimony at trial properly reflects the bounds of the underlying science.

In 1996, the FBI implemented mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis to be used in conjunction with microscopic hair comparisons. Both the microscopic hair technique and mtDNA testing can contribute valuable information and, when combined, provide a stronger analysis.