The forensic debut of the NRC’s DNA report: population structure, ceiling frequencies and the need for numbers
- 95 Downloads
This paper reviews judicial opinions that have discussed the April 1992 recommendations of a committee of the U.S. National Research Council concerning the statistics of forensic DNA profiles obtained with single-locus VNTR probes. It observes that a few courts have held ‘ceiling frequencies’ (as opposed to less ‘conservative’ estimates) admissible, but that the implications of the scientific criticisms of the ceiling procedures have yet to be addressed adequately in court opinions. It urges courts to distinguish between policy judgments and scientific assessments in both the NRC report and the scientific literature, and to defer less to the former than to the latter.
Key wordsforensic DNA ceiling frequencies NRC report courts
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Chakraborty, R., et al.,1992. Effects of population subdivision and allele frequency differences on interpretation of DNA typing data for human identification, pp. 205–222 in Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Human Identification. Promega, Madison, Wisconsin.Google Scholar
- Devlin, B., N. Risch and K. Roeder, 1994. Comments on the statistical aspects of the NRC’s report on DNA typing. Journal of Forensic Science 39: 28–40.Google Scholar
- Devlin, B., N. Risch and K. Roeder, 1993. Statistical evaluation of DNA fingerprinting: a critique of the NRC’s report. Science 259: 748–749, 837.Google Scholar
- Evert, LW., J. Scranage and R. Pinchin, 1993. An illustration of efficient statistical methods for RFLP analysis in forensic science. American Journal of Human Genetics 52: 498–505.Google Scholar
- Panel on Statistical Assessments as Evidence in the Courts, 1989. The Evolving Role of Statistical Assessments as Evidence in the Courts, edited by S.E. Fienberg. Springer-Verlag, N.Y.Google Scholar
- Kaye, D.H., 1993. DNA evidence: probability, population genetics, and the courts. Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 7: 101–172.Google Scholar
- Lempert, R., 1993. DNA, science and the law: two cheers for the ceiling principle. Jurimetrics Journal 34: 41–57.Google Scholar
- McCormick, C., 1992. McCormick on Evidence, volume 1, 4th edition, edited by J. Strong. West Publishing Company, Minneapolis, MN.Google Scholar
- Roeder, K., 1994. DNA fingerprinting: a review of the controversy. Statistical Science 9: 222–247.Google Scholar