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DOJ OIG — An Assessment of the 1996 Department of Justice Task Force Review of the FBI Laboratory

July 17, 2014 Comments off

An Assessment of the 1996 Department of Justice Task Force Review of the FBI Laboratory (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General

This is the third review by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) since 1997 related to alleged irregularities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory (Lab). 2 The first two OIG reports focused on alleged FBI Lab deficiencies, the conduct of individuals brought to our attention by a whistleblower, and remedial actions the FBI took in response to our recommendations. This report addresses how the Criminal Division Task Force (Task Force), created by the Department in 1996 and whose mission was redefined in 1997, managed the identification, review, and follow-up of cases involving the use of scientifically unsupportable analysis and overstated testimony by FBI Lab examiners in criminal prosecutions. We analyzed the Task Force’s review of cases involving 13 FBI examiners the Task Force determined had been criticized in the 1997 OIG report. We included in our review a close examination of cases handled by 1 of the 13 examiners, Michael Malone, the Lab’s Hairs and Fibers Unit examiner whose conduct was particularly problematic.

Although the Task Force made a diligent effort to manage a complex review of thousands of cases, we found the following serious deficiencies in the Department’s and the FBI’s design, implementation, and overall management of the case review process…

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FBI Releases 2013 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

May 12, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases 2013 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 27 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2013, a decrease of more than 44 percent when compared to the 49 officers killed in 2012. By region, 15 officers died as a result of criminal acts that occurred in the South, six officers in the West, four officers in the Midwest, and two in the Northeast.

By circumstance, seven officers were killed as a result of ambushes (four during unprovoked attacks and three due to entrapment/premeditated situations). Five officers died from injuries inflicted as a result of answering disturbance calls (three of which were domestic disturbances), and five officers were engaged in tactical situations. Three officers sustained fatal injuries while they were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, three were conducting traffic pursuits or stops, and three officers were responding to robberies in progress or pursuing robbery suspects. One officer was killed as a result of an investigative activity.

Offenders used firearms in 26 of the 27 felonious deaths. These included 19 incidents with handguns, five incidents with rifles, and two incidents with shotguns. One victim officer was killed with a vehicle used as a weapon.

Nineteen of the slain officers were confirmed to be wearing body armor at the times of the incidents. Six of the officers fired their own weapons, and three officers attempted to fire their service weapons. Two victim officers had their weapons stolen; one officer was killed with his own weapon.

CRS — The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations (updated)

May 12, 2014 Comments off

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, the Bureau) is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with counterterrorism investigations. Since the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, the FBI has implemented a series of reforms intended to transform itself from a largely reactive law enforcement agency focused on investigations of criminal activity into a more proactive, agile, flexible, and intelligence-driven agency that can prevent acts of terrorism.

This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process based on publicly available information.

CRS — FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure

March 4, 2014 Comments off

FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The statutory basis for the present nomination and confirmation process was developed in 1968 and 1976, and has been used since the death of J. Edgar Hoover in 1972. Over this time, seven nominations have been confirmed and two have been withdrawn by the President before confirmation. The position of FBI Director has a fixed 10-year term, and the officeholder cannot be reappointed, unless Congress acts to allow a second appointment of the incumbent. There are no statutory conditions on the President’s authority to remove the FBI Director. Since 1972, one Director has been removed by the President.

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2013

February 19, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2013
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Statistics released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal declines in both the violent crime and the property crime reported in the first six months of 2013 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2012. The report is based on information from 12,723 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the first six months of 2012 and 2013.

FBI Releases 2012 Hate Crime Statistics

December 11, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases 2012 Hate Crime Statistics
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

According to statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 5,796 criminal incidents involving 6,718 offenses were reported in 2012 as being motivated by a bias toward a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or physical or mental disability. The statistics, published by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in Hate Crime Statistics, 2012, provide data about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of the bias-motivated incidents reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. Due to the unique nature of hate crime, however, the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports.

FBI Releases Annual Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System

December 11, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases Annual Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its second compilation of annual data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The report, NIBRS 2012, presents core tables about incident and offense data submitted by a third of the nation’s law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, as well as a new series of tables with agency-level data. The report also furnishes a series of tables about sex offenses and another new series of tables with data about arrestees.

Although NIBRS data are not yet nationally representative and the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for agencies that did not submit NIBRS data, NIBRS 2012 shows the rich, diverse scope of incident-based reporting overall. The 32 core tables present data for 22 offense categories, victims, offenders, relationships, locations, time of day, weapon use, drug and alcohol involvement, and gang involvement. They also distinguish attempted versus completed offenses, as well as the number of clearances by incidents. The agency-level tables (presented by state) show the number of offenses reported by each agency that fully participated in the UCR Program via the NIBRS. The 24 tables about sex offenses provide details—e.g., victim, offender, and victim-to-offender relationship data—not collected elsewhere in the UCR Program for sex offenses.

New to the annual compilation, the arrestees table series covers the demographics of arrestees—e.g., age, sex, and race—as well as noteworthy facts such as the arrestees’ use of weapons, the disposition of juvenile arrestees, and the type of arrest (on-view, taken into custody, or summoned/cited) by arrest offense category.

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