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NCJ Number: 228344 Find in a Library
Title: Validation Issues Around DNA Typing of Low Level DNA
Journal: Forensic Science International: Genetics  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:September 2009  Pages:255-260
Author(s): John Buckleton
Date Published: September 2009
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Ireland
Annotation: Given a recent ruling in the Crown Court of Northern Ireland (R v. Hoey, 2007) that has raised questions about the validity of one variant of DNA analysis, often termed LCN (low copy number), this article examines what can be achieved in a laboratory-based validation study against the Daubert standard and against guidance given in the United Kingdom.
Abstract: Consideration of the requirements for validation as they might apply to LCN technology against the Daubert standard and against guidelines in England and Wales leads to a set of factors that could usefully be assessed during validation. The factors identified inform the reporting officer and the court of the performance of the system, but do not fully align with the Daubert standard. Key areas of difficulty are in the areas of meeting and demonstrating general acceptance; in defining, agreeing, and assessing the full extent of possible error; in bridging the different views of expectations of the judicial process and forensic science; and in dealing with all of these issues in an adversarial system. The standard applied in the United Kingdom is less demanding than Daubert in terms of what scientific evidence can come before the court. The requirement is that the true status of the expert’s evidence be frankly indicated in court. It is not required that the scientific reliability of the evidence be beyond question before it can be presented in court, so long as the true scientific status of the evidence is accurately reported. Much of the difficulty in dealing with LCN evidence in a legal setting is a lack of mutual understanding and communication between the judiciary and forensic scientists regarding the nature of this particular science and what it can and cannot achieve at a given point in time in relation to a particular case. 1 table and 17 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; DNA fingerprinting; Expert witnesses; Rules of evidence; Scientific testimony; United Kingdom (UK); United States of America
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