Using Forensic DNA Evidence at Trial: A Case Study Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Using Forensic DNA Evidence at Trial

A Case Study Approach, 1st Edition

By Jane Moira Taupin

CRC Press

196 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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Description

Using Forensic DNA Evidence at Trial: A Case Study Approach covers the most common DNA analysis methods used in criminal trials today, including STR techniques, mitochondrial DNA, and Y-STRs. It presents some novel techniques—including familial testing and analyzing domestic animal hair—that have been recently introduced in unique cases, each of which is outlined in detail. It also illustrates special issues related to forensic DNA evidence by using court proceedings such as trials and appeals, commissions of inquiry, and government and laboratory reviews.

With forensic DNA analysis becoming increasingly important at trial, the lively and sometimes bizarre cases presented in this book have been carefully chosen to highlight specific concepts, methods, and interpretations used in DNA analysis. Sections throughout examine the nature of expertise with a special focus on the role of subjectivity in the interpretation of forensic DNA evidence, emphasizing cognitive bias and extraneous context. Using both convictions and exonerations as examples, the book also discusses the strengths and limitations of DNA evidence and testing.

The book is written in an accessible manner for the non-scientific reader, such that criminal lawyers, judges, and forensic experts will all understand the nature of analysis and application of DNA evidence in a variety of court cases. Extensive references—including notable trial proceedings, cross references of cases, and specific forensic statistics—round out the book and help to provide a complete understanding of forensic DNA analysis and its current usage in the courtroom.

Table of Contents

History of DNA Profiling Evidence in the Judicial System

Introduction

Introduction of the Technique

DNA Court Challenges during Initial Implementation

Evidence Collection and Laboratory Practices

Changing Technology

Summary

References

Context

Introduction

Exhibits in Context

Context of Testing

Association with a Body Fluid/Matter

Time of Deposition

Scientific Method

References

Transfer

Introduction

Principles of DNA Transfer

Mechanisms of DNA Transfer

Higher Levels of Transfer

Touch

Fingernail Swabs and Cuttings

Packaging

Examination

Environmental Monitoring and Crime Scene Sampling

DNA ‘Dust’

Inadvertent Transfer and Contamination

References

Interpretation of DNA Profiles

Introduction

Sampling: The First Step

Extraction

Quantification

Amplification

Separation and Interpretation

Statistical Evaluation

Relatives

DNA Databases

Cold Cases

References

Statistics

Introduction

Statistical Interpretation and Wording

Concept of ‘Uniqueness’

Statistical Approaches

Single Contributor Profiles

Mixtures

Expert Computer Systems

Population Databases

References

Low Template, Low Level or Low Copy Number DNA

Introduction

History

Low Template, Low Copy Number, Low Level

Ambiguity and Stochastic Effects

Dropout

Mixtures

Statistical Approaches

Performance Tests

Open-Source versus Closed-Source Software

Controversy

References

Y-STR Profiling and Mitochondrial DNA Typing

Introduction

Y-STR Profiling

Mitochondrial DNA Typing

Combining Statistics

Advances

References

Frontiers

Introduction

Familial DNA Searching

Twins

Domestic Animal Hair

Forensic DNA Phenotyping

Mini-STRs

Microbial Forensics

Botany

References

Quality

Introduction

Contamination

Continuity

Transparency

Interpretation

Error Rate

Reliability and Validity

References

About the Author

Jane Moira Taupin is an independent forensic science consultant and trainer. She earned her MA in criminology from the University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. Her thesis on the impact of DNA profiling was one of the first in the field. She has presented biological expert evidence in courts of law and DNA profiling evidence in court. She has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals on trace evidence, clothing damage and blood pattern analysis. She has also coauthored a text on the forensic examination of clothing and is the author of another on DNA profiling in criminal cases for the legal and forensic communities. She has received several awards in recognition and support of her work from national and international sources.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW026000
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW041000
LAW / Forensic Science
SCI029000
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics