GBI admits they screwed up fingerprint analysis

A fingerprint match from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation placed Dexter Presnell at the scene of a murder in Paulding County, Texas. Presnell was arrested and charged with the murder in October of 2006, and has been in the Paulding County Jail ever since.
Now the GBI has admitted that their fingerprint examiner was accidentally comparing the fingerprints lifted from the scene with the murder victim’s daughter’s fingerprint, and not Presnell’s.
I applaud the fact that this examiner came forward and admitted his mistake before this man was sent to prison for a murder he did not commit. It is not often that we see a public example of how investigators, prosecutors, and experts are human and make mistakes. I believe the average person clings to the idea that when a person is charged with a crime, they must be guilty because law enforcement does not make mistakes.
The Paulding County district attorney, on the other hand, gave the standard he’s-guilty-we-just-can’t-prove-it speech, saying that this is not an exoneration of Mr. Presnell, but the evidence is insufficient to prove the case of murder against him.
Why is it that prosecutors cannot admit that they are wrong, even when their case utterly falls apart? Even in the Colomb case in Louisiana, the prosecutor stated after the family’s release: “Though we continue to believe that these defendants were, in fact, trafficking drugs, we have decided not to pursue the case because of witness issues.” Is it plain stubbornness? Fear of a lawsuit? Meanness? Refusal to accept the fact that they have destroyed an innocent person’s life?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *