DNA technique 'fit for purpose'

  Quickbeam 09:19 11 Apr 08
Locked

click here This seems to read ambiguously to me...

"it wrongly linked a sample taken from a car bomb in Northern Ireland to a 14-year-old boy in Nottingham."

"any profile obtained using those techniques should be presented to a jury in a criminal trial with caveats."

Those two quoted statements would make me worry should the low sample technique be used against me, and I found myself having to defend myself, against a system that accepted a questionable lower sample technique, when a high sample can be used...

I know most of you here are in favour of a national DNA database, but that's like accepting a national database of blurred fingerprints... 'Oh that's good enough for me' school of evidence... Well it's not good enough for me.

Whatever the extra cost would be, any subsequent conviction using DNA profiling as the main or only evidence should have to have the low sample verified by a secondary high sample, that is as beyond doubt as we can be sure.

  spuds 13:58 11 Apr 08

Science can never be a 100% surety, that is why new methods and procedures are being introduced all the time.

In the old days, it was a usual verdict that evidence by alibi, fingerprint or witness statement was the norm. DNA as improved the chances of wrongful conviction, but as stated in this report, further improvements are possibly required on the collection and storage stages. We only have to look at the way the Madeleine McCann incident as turned out, and the methods used in collecting and perhaps processing DNA evidence.

Other examples have occurred over past years (Colin Pitchfork evidence!) when DNA samples were changed or wrongfully submitted. This evidence only came to light via a casual conversation in a pub.But as a result of that, and over the years things have improved considerably, and will do further.

  jack 08:41 12 Apr 08

I would have though - such is the uncertainty and opportunity for misinterpretation for any sophisticated means of I/D a provable 'second chance'
would be essential.
I cannot remember precise cases but there was more then one occasion when evidence was presented by 'Expert Witness' for the prosecuting side as a millions to one chance of miss I/D when the real figure was far lower and in a particular incident was plain wrong.

Like in so many fields[Electronic Security] there is a tendency to take the 'expert' opinion as 'gospel' when in fact it is only an opinion of a mere mortal - who is often in the employ of a side with a particular agenda- and there for is persuaded to put a particular slant on 'facts'

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