DNA Identification for Lawyers: CLE
Biology and Information
DNA evidence can often be highly compelling. To make the best use of such evidence, lawyers need to understand the basic principles of DNA identification. Armed with such knowledge, they can attack, defend or introduce DNA evidence in court. This introductory DNA course for attorneys introduces the basic principles of DNA in the context of a homicide trial where computer DNA interpretation was used for the first time.
DNA evidence is often uncertain - the data does not clearly indicate a single genetic source. The most common cause of this genotype uncertainty is a DNA mixture of two or more individuals. Different mixture interpretation methods infer different genotypes, with some preserving more DNA identification information than others. This lecture shows how different DNA match statistics arise in DNA practice. We use a recent homicide case as our main evidence example.
Computer interpretation can explain DNA evidence in ways that fully preserve identification information. This lecture walks through every step of an admissibility hearing for TrueAllele quantitative computer interpretation, establishing general acceptance of the underlying methods. We also briefly describe the direct and cross-examinations.