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12-Jan-2017

Seattle judge rules on TrueAllele admissibility and source code

Seattle, WA

There were two pretrial TrueAllele® rulings today in the Washington v. Emanuel Fair homicide case. The defendant had filed motions for excluding Cybergenetics TrueAllele statistical results as unreliable, and for compelling disclosure of TrueAllele source code. King Court Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman held hearings from September 19, 2016 through November 28, 2016. The Court denied both defense motions.

The Court's admissibility ruling reviewed published TrueAllele validation studies, and considered expert testimony and declarations from many scientists. The Court concluded that "TrueAllele Casework satisfies the Frye standard. The scientific theory upon which TrueAllele is based is generally accepted by the scientific community familiar with TrueAllele and probabilistic genotyping. Similarly, the technique used by TrueAllele is also generally accepted by that scientific community."

The source code ruling considered testimony and declarations from many experts. The Court was "not persuaded that a review of the source code is necessary in order to determine whether TrueAllele is reliable. The defense demand for the source code is not material or reasonable because the testimony in this case from both state and defense experts establishes that scientists can confirm the reliability of TrueAllele without access to the source code."

Mr. Fair is accused of killing Arpana Jinaga after a Halloween party in her apartment complex. The TrueAllele admissibility ruling is the eleventh (out of eleven) favorable court decisions in the United States. Cybergenetics has never been required to disclose its source code.

Links

  • Findings of fact and conclusions of law re: admissibility of TrueAllele Casework - Ruling
  • Findings of fact and conclusions of law on defense motion to compel Cybergenetics' TrueAllele Casework source code - Ruling
  • Washington prosecutors respond to defense motion for source code - Newsroom
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