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19-Sep-2017

ACLU zealots march against truth-seeking DNA technology

Pittsburgh, PA

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) upholds freedom. Controversially, they defend the rights of hate groups who march against vulnerable minorities. Now the ACLU itself is marching against science and justice, telling untrue tales about proven forensic technology that fights crime and protects the innocent.

Most DNA evidence is a mixture of two or more people. Computers can get more information from mixture data using modern statistics. Cybergenetics TrueAllele® computing helped identify victim remains in the World Trade Center disaster.

Since 2009, TrueAllele has brought DNA clarity to criminal justice in hundreds of cases. The unbiased system has been proven accurate in dozens of validation studies. Courts and crime labs accept it as reliable science.

A recent ACLU blog headline falsely claimed, "Secret Algorithms Are Deciding Criminal Trials and We're Not Even Allowed to Test Their Accuracy." Here is why they are wrong.

TrueAllele computer methods are not a secret. They have been published in scientific journals, with more information provided in criminal proceedings. Anyone can test the software by running data through the system. In fact, Cybergenetics offers free cloud-based testing to defendants.

The ACLU seems upset that a serial rapist who repeatedly attacked innocent minority women, and molested their daughters, was stopped by better DNA technology. Their poster child is Billy Ray Johnson, a "sadistic monster" sentenced to 423 years, plus life in prison, after a jury convicted him of these violent crimes. Independent TrueAllele testing by Cybergenetics and a local crime lab placed his DNA at the rape scenes. Johnson's own expert found incriminating DNA evidence.

Computer programs are written in "source code." The ACLU sows confusion by falsely saying that this text is needed for testing software. No one needs Apple's proprietary source code to test whether an iPhone works. Scientists test software on data; they do not read programmer text.

Companies maintain "trade secrets" to invest in innovation. The ACLU confuses these rights with imagined nefarious "secrets." The same privileges that keep doctors, priests and lawyers from betraying their clients also protect technology companies from competitors. The law grants such protections to benefit society.

Crime labs don't have the source code or trade secrets underlying forensic technologies. Rather, they validate methods through scientific testing. Cybergenetics source code is available for inspection. But taking ten years to read every line is a pointless exercise, when a few hours of testing can confirm reliability.

Accurately unmixing mixtures to find DNA truth serves society. TrueAllele has helped exonerate innocent men, acquit defendants and convict criminals. Prosecutors and defenders alike rely on this impartial science.

In working to free a convicted rapist, the ACLU recycles rejected legal arguments. They call established science "experimental" and unneeded text "essential." They deny science by ignoring empirical testing. They omit facts and confuse issues.

The ACLU has strayed from its mission to "preserve individual rights and liberties." Their skewed DNA zealotry harms the public. Americans have a right to justice, and want the liberty to be safe from crime.

Links

  • Secret algorithms are deciding criminal trials and we're not even allowed to test their accuracy - ACLU blog
  • Separating DNA mixtures by computer to identify and convict a serial rapist - AAFS talk
  • People of California v. Billy Ray Johnson - Respondent brief
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