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NCJ Number: 155582 Find in a Library
Title: Relevance of "Matching" DNA: Is the Window Half Open or Half Shut?
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:85  Issue:3  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:676-695
Author(s): D H Kaye
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 20
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that Professor William C. Thompson's call for exclusion of DNA evidence or for expert testimony on the definition of a match is not responsive to the concern that motivates and underlies his proposal.
Abstract: To reach these conclusions, Parts I and II of this article describe the basic ideas of "matching" and "binning" that are central to the usual analysis of DNA evidence. Part III outlines a theory of probative value that illuminates the limitations of match-binning. With these fundamentals in place, the two remaining parts of the article address Professor Thompson's concern and show that, depending on circumstances yet to be established, it could warrant a modification in the way that DNA evidence is presented, although not necessarily the one that Professor Thompson endorses. The analysis demands a careful definition of probative value and a clear understanding of the matching process and its statistical properties. These can be obtained only in the currency of some mathematical notation and concepts. This price, however, is well worth paying. At the most practical level, the exercise promises to improve the presentation of DNA evidence. In addition, it illuminates the workings of a theory of probative value and inductive proof that evidence scholars have been propounding for some time. 1 figure and 69 footnotes
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Criminology; DNA fingerprinting; Rules of evidence
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