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DNA Evidence

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First made a household term by the trial of O.J. Simpson, DNA profiling used as evidence is increasing, as are the questions of its validity. First recognized as a “science,” DNA profiling has come under fire in the courts and in the media due to admitted errors in the laboratory, resulting in the wrongful conviction of innocent people. These errors appear to result from a lack of standards employed in laboratories and insufficient training for laboratory personnel. In light of the inconsistencies with laboratory testing, it is this writer’s belief that DNA evidence is not 100% reliable and as a result should not be used in isolation in criminal cases resulting in death penalty sentences.

Chapter One Background of the Study: The development of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing has added a new dimension to the determination of guilt or innocence in some criminal cases. DNA is the fundamental building block of everyone’s genetic makeup and is unique in each individual, except for identical twins. Blood, semen or hair from a crime scene (the parent sample) can be compared with cells swabbed from a suspect’s mouth to see if there is a match. DNA evidence continues to gain popularity as a reliable source of evidence in determining the offender of a crime.

Although DNA is a powerful tool for determining identity, in terms of inclusion or exclusion, it must always be considered in the context of the individual criminal case. Scientifically, its capacity to identify the guilty has grown year by year, but those results may at times be questionable. Some studies have claimed as many as 400 innocent people have been put to death. Specific cases have demonstrated a lack of controls in the laboratory that may account for inaccurate results. DNA evidence is touted as the one solidly reliable scientific evidence, yet may not be that reliable. Currently, 26 states have laws or pending legislation on post-conviction testing which allow inmates convicted of a felony to have their DNA tested.

However, each state has qualifications which will determine the right to have their DNA tested. For example, the inmate must not have had an earlier test with a definite result; application for the test by people already on death row must be made within a year of the law’s enactment: prosecuting attorney must give permission for the test within 45 days of receiving the test application; prosecutor’s decision cannot be appealed; there must be some expectation that testing will exonerate the inmate; and a satisfactory parent sample must be available for testing. This study is based on the belief that DNA evidence is not 100% reliable.

Death penalty cases are critical in that, if an individual is executed, the ruling cannot be reversed if additional discovery proves innocence. Problem Statement Because of inconsistencies in evidence processing, uncontrolled laboratory conditions, and possible environmental contamination, DNA evidence used in isolation, is insufficient in proving the guilt of an offender in death penalty cases. This presents a difficult issue in the criminal system if DNA evidence is continued to be used and evaluated at the discretion of the legal system.

Due to the questioning of DNA evidence that has been admitted into court, attorneys in some cases choose to or not to utilize the evidence based on the results. Purpose and Objectives of the Study The purpose of this study is to evaluate the reliability of DNA evidence and specifically apply that information to death penalty cases. Objectives include reviewing the process for collecting and evaluating DNA evidence, and reviewing the effect of human error and laboratory conditions on the outcome. There is evidence to suggest that there are differences with which the known DNA patters repeat from race to race.

The genetic breakdown in DNA reports may be invalid. DNA report include statistical information regarding the genetic breakdown, but African Americans, for example, vary genetically across the country. Further, a review of specific cases in which DNA evidence was used, and potential errors occurred will determine the reliability of DNA. According to DNA scientist Keith Inman, “it should be understood that the calculated frequency is an estimate, and can be off by an order of magnitude in either direction.”1 Further, Inman said that “studies show that when databases grow, more loci (more discriminating loci) are required to support a strong inference of a common source.”2 In other words, despite the statistical calculation of 1 in 37 million on six loci, that does NOT mean that the six loci cannot match more than one person in 37 million.

Accordingly, it is indeed possible to have the six loci match in perhaps many dozens of individuals whose DNA is contained in a databank of 700,000.3 (www.forensic-evidence.com) Keith Inman regards a “hit” (or “match”) should be viewed as nothing more than probable cause to consider the individual whose DNA has been matched to a sample stored in the database more closely, not a definitive and final disposition of guilt. He states that detectives and attorneys need to be much better educated about the inferential nature of physical evidence.4 (www.forensic-evidence.com) Rationale of the Study DNA evidence, though once believed to be a hard scientific fact, is being challenged in the courts and rightly so.

DNA evidence can, if accurate, narrow the number of possible offenders but is not a clear definitive answer. If inaccurate and used in isolation, an innocent individual could be sentenced, and in this case, to the death penalty. DNA evidence is affected by many factors, which will be reviewed in this study. A study completed by the University of Michigan Law School, identified 328 criminal cases over the last 15 years in which the convicted person was exonerated. This particular study identified 199 murder exonerations, 73 of them in capital cases. It also found 120 rape exonerations. Nine cases involved other crimes. In half of the cases, the defendants had been in prison for more than 10 years.

Of the 328 exonerations they found in the intervening years, 145 involved DNA evidence. In 88 percent of the rape cases in the study, DNA evidence helped free the inmate. But biological evidence is far less likely to be available or provide definitive proof in other kinds of cases. Only 20 percent of the murder exonerations involved DNA evidence, and almost all of those were rape-murders.5 Definition of Terms Autoradiographs: Pieces of film that are the final result of DNA analysis. Short Tandem Repeat: STRs are the type of DNA used in most of the currently popular forensic DNA tests. STR is a generic term that describes any short, repeating DNA sequence. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism: RFLP) testing, was the first method of forensic DNA analysis to be introduced in the courts. Polymerase Chain Reaction: means of replicating a chosen segment of a DNA sample, thus allowing more sophisticated tests to be performed Limitations to this Study DNA as evidence was first allowed in 1990.

As a forensic science, it is a new procedure that has already undergone several changes in less than two decades. Information gleaned from studies represents information that is published by individuals supporting the use of DNA as evidence or denouncing the death penalty. On either side there are strong emotions tied to the issue, which may greatly affect the outcome. As a science, there is a great deal to learn about DNA profiling and it’s application in the judicial system. DNA and it’s use in the courtroom are greatly affected by the intended use of the prosecuting attorney or the defense attorney. Depending on the test results, the attorneys may choose to use DNA evidence or argue against its validity, thereby affecting the statistical information gleaned from trial cases.

Further, DNA evidence being deemed an exact science has an overwhelming reaction when used in a trial. Both judge and jury may except DNA as fact, without question, again affecting the outcome of statistical information based on trial cases. Further limitations are introduced by the researcher, due to bias and preconceived notions. Research Hypotheses This study is based on the assertion that DNA evidence is not 100% reliable. Reliability may be concluded by repetitive tests yielding the same result. This does not prove reliability in demonstrating that the originator of the DNA is the offender. DNA may be inappropriately used as evidence to purposefully convict an innocent person.

The presence of DNA at a crime scene is not indicative of guilt unless it is supported by additional evidence as is the case with other physical evidence. DNA will strongly support the presence of a person but it could be placed there as an error. DNA evidence should be critically evaluated in cases and not be the main determining factor of a person presence at a crime scene. Chapter Two: Chapter two will consist of a literature review citing the introduction of DNA evidence in the courtroom, the process of collecting and analyzing DNA evidence, specific cases in which DNA evidence used contained errors.

Chapter Three: Chapter three will evaluate the reliability of DNA evidence by statistical evaluation of the cases in which DNA evidence was used and the number of cases which DNA evidence was thrown out because of errors in the collecting, analyzing or interpreting the DNA evidence. Chapter Four: Chapter four will examine standards and procedures for deciding admissibility and that impact on the courtroom and evaluate the reliability of DNA evidence based on quality assurance standards assessments of DNA laboratories. Chapter Five: Chapter five includes a discussion of DNA testing and its implications for the future of criminal evidence. Chapter Two The introduction of DNA Evidence In criminal investigations, the DNA fingerprint of a suspect’s blood or other body material is compared to that of the evidence from the crime scene to see how closely they match.

First developed in the mid-1980s, DNA fingerprinting has been accepted in most courts in the United States, and has in several notable instances been used to exonerate or free persons convicted of crimes. All states have established DNA fingerprint databases, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has instituted a national DNA fingerprint database linking those of the states. DNA fingerprinting is generally regarded as a reliable forensic tool when properly done, but some scientists have called for wider sampling of human DNA to insure that the segments analyzed are indeed highly variable for all ethnic and racial groups. The results of DNA typing may either qualitatively include or exclude a potential suspect as the donor of DNA in an evidence sample.

Exclusions require no statistical analysis since they are absolute. Inclusions require some assessment of how likely it would be to get the observed genetic match if, in fact, the suspect did not leave the evidence DNA. To complete this statistical assessment requires a quantification of the chance of two events. How likely is it that the suspect coincidentally has a DNA profile that matches the profile of the unknown person who really did leave the DNA evidence. How likely is it that the laboratory would declare a match between the evidence and the suspect when in fact their DNA profiles do not match? The events described in previous questions could both lead to a declared match when the suspect was not the source of the DNA and thus the chances of each event must be statistically evaluated.

The process is simple: two samples are taken, one from the suspect and one from the scene of the crime. The samples can be skin tissue, hair, blood, semen or vaginal fluid, and really anything else with cells in it (the two samples don’t even have to be the same material because all cells of the same organism have identical DNA). Then, the DNA of both samples is extracted, studied, and compared. If the DNA matches, then the suspect is believed to have been at the crime scene. The technique was first used in the late 1980’s to convict a Portland, Oregon, man of raping and impregnating his 13 year old daughter. Tissue samples were taken from both the man and the fetus (which had been previously aborted) and the DNA was analyzed.

The results were conclusive and the man confessed. The test was remarkable not only in that it provided concrete evidence, but also because the samples compared weren’t from the same organism (the fetus had both the man’s and girl’s DNA, yet scientists were still able to find common sequences).6 Since the late 1980’s, DNA evidence has been widely used in the courtroom. It was used as evidence in the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial. It was also used to clear deceased Sam Sheppard, the physician who was accused of killing his wife in 1954, but claimed a “bushy-haired” man did it. A DNA test proved that the blood at the murder scene wasn’t Sheppard’s or his wife’s, indicating someone else was there.7 Collection of Evidence Physical evidence is any tangible object that can connect an offender to a crime. Biological evidence, which contains DNA is one type of evidence.

All biological evidence found at crime scenes can be subject to DNA testing. Protection of the crime scene is critical to the protection of evidence. Safeguarding and preserving evidence is fundamental to the solution of a crime and to the conviction of the offender. The level of contamination risk to be expected is related to the type of crime scene and corresponding number of individuals who have access to the scene. The type of crime will have an effect on the number of people involved at the crime scene. If it is a simple burglary, it may involve an investigating officer. However, if it is a homicide, it will include many more individuals, increasing the risk of contamination to the crime scene. Environmental conditions may also affect and/or cause contamination of crime scene evidence.

Wind, sun, rain, snow and temperature can play key roles in the destruction of the evidence at a crime scene. For example, if there is blood at an outdoor crime scene and it rains, the blood may become so diluted that testing of the blood becomes impossible. The same would apply if the blood was exposed to the sun on an extremely hot and humid day. The fluid would be decomposed or contaminated by bacteria to a point where further analysis would be impossible or inconclusive at best. Because of the sensitivity of the forensic DNA analyses currently being performed by crime laboratories, handling biological evidence properly is critical. To detect possible contamination of DNA samples during collection or handling, evidence DNA profiles are often compared with those from detectives at the crime scene, the victim, a randomly chosen person or a DNA profile from a database.

The chain of evidence is critical in proving guilt or innocence. To be convincing in court, you must be able to show how the evidence was handled and processed from collection to presentation. Any breaks or gaps in the chain introduce doubt. Document each step and each way evidence is handled, stored, or processed. All analysis must be documented showing who performed it, how it was performed, what the results were, and how the results were preserved. The Relevance of Matching DNA The typical forensic case usually involves comparing genetic material from two sources; evidence and the suspect. It is then up to the laboratory to determine if there is sufficient similarity to indicate that they came from the same source.

If it determined that the two match, then the laboratory must decide how common or how rare this occurrence may be. The frequency with which the pattern may be expected to match within the general population will provide information on how valuable the evidence is or how much weight may be given to that evidence. For example, if that match may occur in 1 out of 10 people, the evidence may not be worthy of further consideration. However, if that match occurs in 1 out of 10,000, then it may be more credible. If we can be sure that the DNA evidence did in fact come from the criminal, a match could still be declared between an innocent person and dna evidence and this can happen for one of two reasons.

First, the suspect could be similar to the criminal, genetically. Second, the laboratory could have made a match, or false positive due to a human error. (Mueller, 1993) False positives were considered to be a rare occurrence, particularly when DNA profiling is a “science.” Cellmark, a private laboratory, made two false positive matches in a comparison of 100 DNA samples. The FBI database indicated a false positive when completing proficiency testing.8 When the DNA profile of a known individual (a victim or suspect) matches the DNA profile from the crime scene evidence, the individual is “included” as a potential source of that evidence. However, the strength of this inclusion depends, in part, on the number of DNA locations examined (up to 13 locations can be examined) and the statistic reflecting how often the particular profile would be found in the general population.

A DNA profile shown to occur rarely in the population (for example, 1 time in 5 million people) would more strongly suggest that the individual is the source of the biological evidence than would a more common DNA profile (for example, 1 time in 5,000 people). Increasing the number of DNA locations tested typically results in more powerful statistics. For this reason, several DNA locations are tested whenever possible. A DNA inclusion may provide information that is of limited value to the investigative process. The results do not mean the suspect was not present and did not commit the crime—only that the substance tested did not come from the suspect. Additionally, inclusion does not necessarily mean a suspect is guilty.

Inconclusive results indicate that DNA testing did not produce information that would allow an individual to be either included or excluded as the source of the biological evidence. Inconclusive results can occur for many reasons. The quality or quantity of DNA obtained from the biological evidence may be insufficient to produce definitive DNA typing results. Inconclusive results also can occur if the evidentiary sample contains a mixture of DNA from several individuals. Even if the suspect’s DNA profile is found in the biological evidence, the presence of DNA from other sources may prohibit the establishment of an inclusive or exclusive result.

If there is more than one perpetrator or if in a sexual assault case the victim recently had consensual intercourse in which semen also may have been deposited in the victim’s vaginal region, the results could contain profiles from more than one person. When this happens, it is often not possible to determine which specific types came from which donor. The suspect cannot be excluded as a possible donor of the DNA found in the evidence sample, but a more conclusive result may not be possible. These cases must be reported as inconclusive. As with all DNA results, inconclusive findings should be interpreted in the context of the other evidence in a case.

DNA evidence can present problems: police officers and forensic technicians make mistakes during both the collection process and evaluation, and have been known deliberately to falsify or misrepresent evidence; juries may misconstrue the significance of expert testimony about the probability of a random match with the defendant, or of information about the likelihood that a sample was mishandled, and attorneys have been known to contribute to such misunderstandings; criminals devise devious ways to circumvent DNA identification, and at least one prisoner, apparently hoping to exploit the potential for confusion, has petitioned for a DNA test that, as he must have anticipated, confirmed his guilt. (Haack, 2003) The Potential for Human Error Historically, there have been a lack of adequate controls to guarantee the reliability of the DNA analysis results.

Take for example the case of Joseph Castro, a handyman who allegedly murdered a female and her child. The evidence indicating Castro as the murderer was overwhelming and included a DNA analysis of blood on his wristwatch that matched the blood of the victim. The blood on the watchband was subjected to DNA analysis to find out whether it had come from one of the two murder victims, from Castro, or from some other source. It was tested by the Lifecodes laboratory in Westchester, New York, the first private laboratory in the United States to do RFLP testing for criminal identification.

The initial results suggested that this was the evidence that would win the case for the prosecution. The results were compelling. Lifecodes concluded that the DNA pattern of the blood on the watchband matched Vilma Ponce’s (victim) pattern at three different locations on the DNA ladder, at three different chromosomes. The laboratory stated that the frequency of this matching pattern was one in 100 million people in the Hispanic population. During trial testimony it was revealed that Lifecodes did not employ any type of mathematical standards to determine the results but rather DNA matches were declared simply by visual observation. The experts were troubled because at one location on a DNA print there were two faint, extra bands present in Vilma Ponce’s DNA that were not present in the DNA from the watchband.

Lifecodes had discounted these bands, viewing them as the likely result of bacterial contamination rather than genuine DNA bands, and had focused on the match between the more clearly visible DNA bands. Lander, on the other hand, believed the faint bands to be human DNA bands; that had been the basis of his conclusion that the DNA on Castro’s watch did not match Ponce’s. The experts agreed that the laboratory should have performed further tests regarding the source of those bands before declaring a DNA match. They decided that Lifecodes’s failure to do so rendered the film inconclusive at that particular DNA location.

The experts also criticized Lifecodes’s declaration of a DNA match because they believed that the laboratory had violated its own rules for declaring a match, that it did not use objective criteria. The criticism here went beyond a failure to perform the requisite mathematical calculations. According to the joint statement, those calculations, when actually performed, showed that the DNA patterns from the blood on the watchband and from Vilma Ponce’s DNA, while similar, were sufficiently different that they fell outside Lifecodes’s own mathematical standards for the confident declaration of a match. (Levy, 1996) DNA typing used in the O.J. Simpson trials seemed certain to determine his fate.

When the results of the DNA testing were reported, the defense team had to face the worst. Blood with DNA that matched Simpson’s was found at Nicole Brown’s home. Blood spots in Simpson’s car contained DNA matching Brown’s, Ronald Goldman’s, and Simpson’s. Blood at Simpson’s home contained DNA that matched Nicole Brown’s and Ronald Goldman’s. The case against Simpson seemed airtight, and to many observers the matter ended right there. DNA had sealed Simpson’s fate; his guilt had been proven conclusively. Yet Simpson was acquitted. There was a lack of credibility among the investigators. The chain of evidence left many questions unanswered. Policies and procedures were not followed for logging evidence.

The defense argued that the DNA had been planted by the investigators and further that the DNA had been contaminated during the because two pieces of DNA are intermingled in the laboratory through sloppy handling or a failure to maintain sterile conditions. (Levy, 1996) Two compelling cases, that for very different reasons, DNA evidence had been failed to be handled properly and hence affected the outcome of the trial. Due to the increase in the use of DNA evidence, there are currently backlogs of DNA that are waiting to be analyzed. There is such a demand that private corporations have created a “do-it-yourself” kit for analyzing DNA evidence.

These kits provide little information as to the process of analysis, and in order to argue the reliability, places a defendant in the position of having to subpoena the company producing the kit in order to gain information about its process. “The failure of the manufacturers of DNA testing systems to disclose the primer sequences they have created to permit amplification of DNA is problematic from the perspective of scientific knowledge and, consequently, validation. It is more than problematic, it is anti-scientific in that it inhibits the ability of scientists in the field (including defense experts) to test the manufacturers’ claims. Although the Court understands that the manufacturers believe they need to maintain as confidential what they consider to be proprietary information, in the case of new technology, it delays acceptance by the courts.” (Mellon, 2001)

In most criminal prosecutions where DNA evidence is utilized, the evidence serves to corroborate, in a powerful manner, other circumstances pointing to the guilt of the accused. But should DNA evidence alone be sufficient to convict when there is no corroborative evidence, except of the most generalized and non specific nature? A recent U.K. decision held that DNA evidence, without corroborating evidence, was not sufficient evidence to convict under the particular circumstances of the case.

In October of 1999, a man was convicted of four counts of burglary and sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment. On another charge of burglary he was found not guilty and discharged. There were two further counts, of attempted burglary and going equipped to steal in respect of which the judge directed the jury to bring in not guilty verdicts, and they did. There was a co-accused charged in respect of the two latter counts, a man for whom formal verdicts of not guilty were entered in his case as well. He was arrested in December of 1998, in connection with the two counts on which the judge directed acquittal. A DNA sample was taken from him and was matched with DNA profiles taken from cigarette ends that had been found at the scene of what were described as five sophisticated burglaries of commercial premises in Birmingham which had occurred over two years before, in 1996.

Those burglaries were burglaries of a warehouse, a betting shop and three post offices. There are features of each burglary that are remarkably similar, including how the accused entered the premises and the manner in which they were able to access safes that were present on the premises. The prosecution alleged that the defendant was part of a team responsible for each of the five burglaries. They relied solely on the DNA evidence taken from the cigarette ends found at the scene of those burglaries. In so far as that evidence may not have been strong in relation to some matters, they indicated that the jury could draw an inference from the similar features that in fact the same team had been responsible for each of the burglaries.

The defendant denied the offences and contended that the DNA evidence was relatively weak. It is necessary to consider only the DNA evidence. Valerie Tomlinson, a forensic expert, gave evidence for the prosecution. She had analyzed the cigarette ends found at the scene of the five burglaries. Seven different regions of DNA were tested. In relation to the first four burglaries, all seven regions of DNA matched. In her opinion the probability of a false DNA match in these circumstances based on the assumption that the appellant had no close relatives was 1 in 86 million.

In relation to the cigarette end found at the fifth burglary, only a partial profile could be produced and so only five regions of DNA matched. In her opinion, the probability of a false DNA match in these circumstances, based on the assumption that the applicant had no close relatives, was 1 in 79,000. Under cross-examination she conceded that if the appellant had two brothers the probabilities involved would reduce to 1 in 267 and 1 in 32 respectively. She agreed that the results do not mean that the DNA actually did come from the appellant. She said that it was not, from the prosecution’s point of view, as good as that.

She also confirmed that DNA evidence should not be used in isolation and without other supporting evidence, however tenuous. DNA evidence in itself was not proof.9 This was a case where the principal piece of evidence, on the evidence of the expert witness, was not enough in itself for a jury to conclude with certainty that the defendant was responsible for this offence. It has to be contrasted, for example, to fingerprint evidence where the expert will say that the evidence he has found could only come from the defendant. The witness made it entirely clear that that was not this situation. It became necessary to see whether, the rest of the evidence supported the DNA evidence so that, when taken together, a proper inference of guilt could be drawn.

Secondly, it is necessary to see whether in relation to the brothers, the jury could ever reach the conclusion which the judge invited them to do that they could exclude the brothers from involvement. In every case one has to put the DNA evidence in the context of the rest of the evidence and decide if the case is compelling when taken as a whole. DNA evidence may have a greater significance where there is supporting evidence, dependent, of course, on the strength of that evidence.10 Innocent people have been convicted of serious offenses who were later exonerated when DNA tests, not available at the time of their convictions, showed they could not have been the contributors of the biological evidence found at the crime scenes.

So far there have been over 100 DNA exonerations across the country.11 The most recent release, on Monday, April 8, 2002, of Ray Krone who was convicted and sentenced to death in 1992, was also the 100th exoneration, though not simply on the basis of DNA, of a death row inmate since the Supreme Court legitimized the death sentence again in the mid 1970’s. That means that for every seven people executed in this country in the last quarter century, one has been exonerated.

Upon Ray Krone’s release, Senator Leahy, chief sponsor of the Innocence Protection Act, released the following comments: “Our nation this week reached an infamous milestone: 100 known – and goodness only knows how many unknown – cases of people being sentenced to death, since the reinstatement of capital punishment, for crimes they did not commit. There should be no shame in errors made by well-meaning jurors, because human error is inevitable. But what is deeply shameful is a political and legal establishment that lives in denial.

What shocks me most about this case is not that yet another innocent man’s life was ruined; it is that the prosecutor then called the system that did that ‘the best in the world.’ He is still back in the 1990s, the decade that saw Congress rushing to speed up executions of people like Ray Krone; Supreme Court Justices ‘doubting’ whether our Constitution even forbids executing innocent people; and a shadowy clique of bad prosecutors and pseudo-academics engaging in innocence-denial: pretending that innocent people were guilty, pretending that DNA evidence proves nothing, pretending that sleeping lawyers can ensure justice. “The time for denial is over. We know that the system has identifiable flaws.

The system did not work for Ray Krone in his first trial, or in his second. We know that it has innocent victims . . .” “. . . To expunge the national shame of denial, we need strong national safeguards for truth: a federal guarantee of competent counsel, and of DNA testing wherever relevant. . . .”12 The Value of DNA Evidence Henry William Long died in a fight with an armed robber more than 29 years ago. In the struggle, he managed to spill some of his killer’s blood at the scene of the crime. This evidence had been stored on police property for decades, and recently led to a man police believe is Long’s killer. The suspect, 61-year-old Benjamin Richard Johnson, was recently arraigned on a first-degree murder charge. Johnson was serving time in the Sussex II state correctional facility in completing the final months of a two-year prison sentence.

He was due to be released in May. Johnson’s blood, had been preserved by investigators and submitted in 1996 to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science’s DNA databank, which contains the DNA profiles of tens of thousands of convicted felons. Investigators didn’t know whose blood they had until after Johnson was arrested on a felony gun charge in Richmond in September 2004. He was required under state law to submit a DNA sample after his conviction in December of that year. Six months later, state lab technicians matched it with Johnson’s DNA. (www.fbi.gov)

The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) program provides software and support services to allow state and local laboratories to establish databases of convicted offenders, unsolved crime scenes, and missing persons. CODIS allows these forensic laboratories to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, giving them the ability to link serial violent crimes, particularly sexual assaults, and to identify suspects by matching DNA from crime scenes to convicted offenders. (www.fbi.gov) CODIS has recorded more than 500 matches linking serial violent crimes to each other or identifying suspects by matching crime scene evidence to known convicted offenders. These matches have aided more than 1,000 violent crime investigations.

Using CODIS, the Illinois State Police Laboratory linked a 1999 solved sexual assault case to three other sexual assaults in which the suspect was previously unknown. The 1999 case involved a sexual assault on two female college students who were unable to identify the offender. Police, however, were able to develop a suspect from witnesses’ descriptions and circumstantial evidence. CODIS matched this suspect’s DNA profile to three other cases that occurred in 1994 and 1995. (www.fbi.gov) A DNA profile developed by the Virginia Division of Forensic Science in Richmond resulted in the resolution of an unknown subject rape case.

In March 1997, a man raped and sodomized a woman after breaking into her home. The police had no suspects in the case but were able to retrieve biological evidence from the crime scene. This evidence was sent to the Richmond laboratory, where a DNA profile was developed and searched in CODIS. In March 1999, CODIS linked the crime to a profile in Virginia’s Offender Index. At the time of the identification, the offender was serving time in a New York prison for robbery, with a prior conviction in Virginia for grand larceny. (www.fbi.gov) The multiple murder trials in Virginia of Timothy Wilson Spencer were the first cases in the United States where the admission of DNA evidence led to guilty verdicts resulting in a death penalty.

The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the murder and rape convictions of Spencer, who had been convicted on the basis of DNA testing that matched his DNA with that of semen found in several victims. In Spencer, the defendant’s attack upon the introduction of DNA evidence was limited to the contention that its novelty should lead the court to “hold off until another day any decision…” There was no testimony from expert witnesses that challenged the general acceptance of DNA testing among the scientific community.13 Chapter Three It has been suggested that many of the individuals who have exonerated by DNA evidence, involved fraudulent science. “In some cases rogue experts were directly to blame, a much larger problem exists: The forensics profession lacks a truly scientific culture–one with sufficient written protocols and an empirical basis for the most basic procedures.

This results in an environment in which misconduct can too easily thrive. Stated another way, forensic science needs more science.” (Gionelli, 2003) On an individual level, one of the most notorious cases involved Fred Zain, the chief serologist of the West Virginia State Police Crime Laboratory. Zain was accused of misconduct in numerous cases, spanning 10 years, including overstating the strength of results, reporting inconclusive results as conclusive, repeatedly altering laboratory records, grouping results to create the erroneous impression that genetic markers had been obtained from all samples tested, and failing to report conflicting results. On a systemic level, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) laboratory, considered to be the country’s premier crime lab, was evaluated by the Inspector General in 1997.

The report on the lab found scientifically flawed testimony, inaccurate testimony, testimony beyond the competence of examiners, improper preparation of laboratory reports, insufficient documentation of test results, scientifically flawed reports, inadequate record management and retention, and failures of management to resolve serious and credible allegations of incompetence. The report’s recommendations are revealing because they are so basic. This report called for scientific management. More than a decade ago, molecular biologist Eric Lander, who served as an expert witness in one of the first court cases involving DNA evidence, noted: “At present, forensic science is virtually unregulated, with the paradoxical result that clinical laboratories must meet higher standards to be allowed to diagnose strep throat than forensic labs must meet to put a defendant on death row.”

Since that time, there have been a number of voluntary attempts to improve crime laboratories, such as the accreditation process of the ASCLD/LAB. Nevertheless, except for New York, Texas, and Oklahoma, there is no mandatory accreditation. A similar situation exists with death investigation agencies accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners. Although 40 medical systems have been accredited, they cover only 25 percent of the population. In addition, accreditation rates are low for practicing forensic scientists, even though forensic certification boards for all the major disciplines have been in existence for more than a decade.14 Lack of funding has been cited as a major contributing factor to the lack of accreditation in forensics.

Meeting accreditation and certification standards costs money. In 1974, President Nixon’s Crime Commission found that laboratories were being established on budgets that did not provide for the recruitment of qualified, professional personnel. Recently, an investigation of Washington state crime labs revealed a backlog of cases that were because of incompletion were interfering with the investigations serious crimes. Nationwide, it is accepted that on any given day thousands of pieces of evidence collected from crime scenes remain unanalyzed due to the backlog of cases. In order to improve scientific evidence in criminal cases, laboratories must be improved. Valid protocols and rigorous proficiency testing are important. The FBI has conceded that there were significant problems when DNA evidence was first introduced in court.

Problems cited were poorly defined controls, contaminated evidence and sloppy interpretation of the results. The National Research Council (NRC’s) has proclaimed that DNA typing should not be used in court, unless it has undergone such proficiency testing. (Gionelli, 2003) There continues to be a lack of basic scientific research. Forensic techniques have been developed in crime labs, not research labs, and gained judicial acceptance. Laboratory Controls In 1994, the DNA Identification Act, required a panel of professionals, both private and public, to address the issues that had been identified in DNA analysis and evidence. One function of this panel was to address quality assurance issues as well as standards to be implemented in forensic laboratories.

Compliance with these standards is generally measured through an audit. An audit of the Houston PD Crime Lab, on December 13, 2002, revealed discrepancies in the standards employed in their lab. The audit revealed the following shortcomings: • The DNA laboratory did not have an established and maintained documented quality system appropriate to the testing activities. • Personnel were not adequately trained. • Corrective action had not been taken. • Safety measures were inadequate. • Staff were not provided with adequate authority and resources to meetthe standards. • No documented training program for personnel. • Staff were not trained in biochemistry, genetics, or molecular biology. • The laboratory was not designed to meet the safety requirements and minimize risk of contamination. • The laboratory did not follow procedures for cleaning, and decontaminating equipment. • The facility did not retain evidence. • The laboratory did not use methods that had been validated.

• The laboratory did not follow written guidelines for the interpretation of data. The Houston Crime Lab wrongfully identified a 16 year old in a rape case and he was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Houston Crime Lab is not alone in failure to follow standards. The Virginia Division of Forensic Science have produced results that were challenged due to inadequate measures within their laboratory, challenges that have suggested that analysts, when unable to make a match, changed the test results to create a match.15 Although current DNA tests rely heavily on computer-automated equipment, the interpretation of the results often requires subjective judgment.

Forensic scientists may not always take adequate steps to blind themselves to the government’s expected outcome when interpreting test results. If the analysts are familiar with facts of their cases, including information that has nothing to do with genetic testing, and they may also be aware of which results will help or hurt the prosecution team. Chapter Four Deciding Admissibility Two commonly accepted standards exist for deciding whether DNA evidence will be admitted into evidence: the general-acceptance test and the sound- methodology standard. If a timely objection is raised, the judge must determine whether the applicable standard has been met. The general-acceptance standard was set in the 1923 federal court of appeals case, Frye v. United States.

A precedent was established, determining that in order for scientific evidence to be admissible, the proponent of the scientific evidence must establish that the methodology used to analyze the evidence is generally accepted within the scientific community. The sound-methodology standard was established in the Federal Rules of Evidence. In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court established general acceptance as an absolute prerequisite to the admissibility of scientific evidence. General acceptance was developed as a framework for deciding whether proposed testimony has sufficient scientific validity and reliability to be admitted as relevant “scientific knowledge” that would “assist the trier of fact.”

Other considerations for submission of scientific evidence include the extent to which the theory and technology have been tested, the existence of a body of peer-reviewed studies, and the known error rates of the procedure.16 Professor William Thompson, took the lead in coming to aid of a Houston man wrongfully accused of rape. Thompson had spent over 15 years studying forensic science. Thompson recognized the error while helping a group of news reporters investigate allegations of fraud and incompetence in the Houston Police Crime Laboratory. It was July of 1999, when Josiah Sutton, 16 years old, was convicted of rape based on DNA tests performed by the Houston Police Crime Laboratory.

As Thompson reviewed the evidence in Sutton’s case, he found a problem. “The jury was led to believe that the DNA evidence uniquely identified Sutton as one of two rapists,” Thompson said. “In fact, when correctly interpreted, the DNA evidence showed it was very unlikely that Mr. Sutton could have been one of the rapists.”17 Upon retesting, by a private laboratory, Mr. Sutton was in fact excluded as a possible suspect. Professor Thompson reviewed further the DNA profiling as it was completed at the Houston laboratory. Thompson identified that Houston failed to run standard laboratory controls, used poor documentation methods, and used methods that increase the risk of error in the interpretation or analysis of DNA profiling.

It appeared that their reporting methods were often misread in order to achieve convictions. Crime labs nationwide are besieged with problems. Consider the following: • In Florida, DNA lab worker John Fitzpatrick recently admitted to falsifying DNA data in a test designed to check the quality of work. The state, however, refused to retest any of the cases on which he worked, claiming the falsification was an isolated incident that did not affect criminal cases. Fitzpatrick since hasbeen fired. • In Arizona, technicians made errors while analyzing DNA evidence in nine criminal cases currently under review. State audits reveal that only 26 percent of 8,000 blood samples from convicted offenders have been analyzed.

• In Baltimore, police are reviewing 480 criminal cases because former chemist Concepcion Bacasnot, who quit in 1987, wrongfully implicated a defendant by failing properly to analyze blood. • In West Virginia, forensic expert Fred Salem Zain testified in dozens of rape cases about test results he never obtained. He didn’t even do the tests. Zain then moved to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office in San Antonio, becoming the head of serology there in 1989. Zain again testified about blood evidence when no blood had been found; in other cases he reported performing tests his lab was incapable of doing. At least five men were convicted of rape and murder because of his testimony. Their convictions were overturned; Zain was fired.

• In Illinois, lab technician Pamela Fish was accused of helping to convict six defendants on false evidence, four of whom have been exonerated. She since has been promoted to oversee biochemistry testing at the Illinois State Police crime laboratory. • In Montana and Washington state, crime labs find themselves in the midst of accusations of wrongdoing because of Arnold Melnikoff, who worked in both states and is alleged to have made serious errors in dozens of cases. FBI tests proved the chemist had misidentified hair samples that 15 years ago helped convict a man of raping an 8-year-old girl. Melnikoff still is employed in Washington state.

• In Oklahoma, forensic scientist Joyce Gilchrist’s work came under scrutiny after evidence indicated she provided allegedly false testimony that led to the wrongful conviction of a death-row inmate who eventually was freed. She had been involved in 3,000 cases, including 23 in which defendants were sentenced to death. Eleven were executed. Defense attorneys are wondering if any of those 11 inmates was innocent. It may be difficult to find out because, in many instances, the technician destroyed or used up all the DNA or blood evidence. Gilchrist was fired in 2001 and since has filed a $20 million lawsuit.

• In California, tens of thousands of samples sit in refrigerators from which they have yet to be placed in an offender database. The state has released thousands of violent offenders without collecting their DNA, although recently it has improved, nearly doubling the number of convicts it has tested to about 78,000 – far behind Virginia’s 123,000 DNA profiles.18 These cases and the processes followed help to define the scientific community in which the degree of scientific acceptance is to be ascertained, the extent of disagreement that can be tolerated, the information that may be used to gauge the extent of consensus, and the specific factors other than general acceptance that bear on relevance and helpfulness.

The degree of scientific consensus is important to the admissibility of scientific evidence in all jurisdictions, and pretrial hearings in hotly contested cases have lasted months and generated thousands of pages of testimony probing the opinions of experts on various aspects of DNA profiling. Initially, DNA typing examined certain Restriction Fragment Length Polymor- phisms (RFLPs) known as Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTRs), and initially this process was heralded as the biggest step forward for truth in justice. During this period, expert testimony for the prosecution rarely was countered, and courts readily admitted RFLP findings. In a second wave of cases, however, defendants pointed to problems at two levels, controlling the experimental conditions of the analysis and interpreting the results.

The procedures for extracting and analyzing DNA employed in forensic laboratories was questioned. It became apparent that determining whether RFLPs in VNTR loci in two samples actually match can be complicated by measurement variability or missing or spurious bands. (Kaye) There remained concerns, but many cases continued to determine forensic RFLP analyses to be “generally accepted,” and therefore admissible. Some courts, aware that DNA evidence might be considered conclusive in the minds of jurors, added to the general acceptance standard. This test requires proof of the general acceptance of the ability of science to produce the type of results offered in court, but also a showing of the proper application of an approved method on the particular occasion.

Even if the laboratory has found the true VNTR profile in the sample and has correctly determined that it matches the defendant’s, there is some chance that the match is a coincidence because the perpetrator actually was someone else whose VNTR profile happens to be the same as the defendant’s. Proficiency Test Records The purpose of proficiency testing is to uncover difficulties that a particular technician or a particular laboratory might be encountering in applying established methods.

Proficiency testing raises a variety of legal issues. Some have suggested that participation in a program of proficiency testing should be a prerequisite to the admission of evidence from a forensic laboratory, that proficiency-test results should be admissible to show how likely it is that the laboratory erred in the test at bar, and that random-match probabilities ought to be inadmissible unless they are combined with proficiency-test results to estimate the probability of a false match. Every human activity is associated with some risk of error. There are potential sources of error at every stage in the processing of physical evidence, from collection in the field through laboratory analysis to interpretation of results of analysis.

Errors that are of concern here are those that may lead to a false match. False exclusions are important but are unlikely to lead to false convictions. Mix-ups or mislabeling of samples or results can occur at any point where evidence is handled or data recorded, that is, from the time of evidence collection in the field to the writing of the final report. The consequences of sample mishandling depend on which samples are mishandled. There are circumstances in which undetected mishandling can lead to false matches; the genetic types of the samples might be determined correctly but the inferred connections among the samples can be incorrect because of sample mix-up. DNA evidence has been utilized with positive results and negative consequences.

It is commonly accepted that the issue remains with a lack of laboratory controls and consistency in testing. Errors in DNA typing generally result as one of the following: A) Sample mix up. Usually resulting in false matches, technicians may mix up the tubes in the lab. Ultimately, every sample is handled by a person before it gets processed. Without strict adherence to policy and procedure, risk is increased. B) Sample contamination. This may occur at the crime scene, during collection of evidence, or at the lab. Sample contamination may occur because an officer touches the material with his/her hands, or the contamination may occur when the sample is deposited. C) DNA degradation. DNA degrades if it is not kept cold or dry.

Degradation may occur at the crime scene, or due to improper storage. Degradation may lead to inaccurate DNA typing. D) Bad data analysis. Although DNA typing is a science, which would indicate specific tested measures, there remains a subjective portion which could allow for inaccurate analysis.19 Lab error rates are reported as being around 2%. Laboratories may not always report inaccuracies in testing and this may have an impact on this percentage. A lab error rate of 2% dominates the considerations of the significance of a match, so labs need to be striving for vastly lower error rates than they have had in the past.

Unknown is the extent to which a lab actually follows its own protocols. If technicians deviate from the written protocol, it is difficult to uncover that after the fact. 1) Absence of external, blind proficiency tests (inadequate standards). The only way a lab can begin to correct its mistakes is to know how often and why they occur. Blind proficiency tests are the surest way to know the lab’s error rate. Few labs submit to external, blind proficiency tests, though all labs now submit to some form of proficiency testing. 2) Sample identification is known when processing occurs (bad protocol: absence of blind). By knowing which samples belong to which people (or crimes), it is far easier to unintentionally produce a false match (perhaps by sample mixup or contamination).

3) Samples from the same crime are often processed together, in the same lab (bad protocol). This greatly increases the chance of sample mixup going undetected. 4) Inadequate replication (bad protocol). With the use of PCR, a single sample can be processed many times (which was not true of past methods). Ideally, samples should be split and sent to different labs for testing, which would greatly reduce sample mixups going undetected. Cost is probably the biggest impediment to this kind of replication. 5) Bad protocols for data analysis.

People analyzing DNA data have not usually been trained adequately.20 Statistically, there is no evidence to suggest that the error rate is higher or lower than 2%. Specific cases highlight errors that have occurred and as a result of media coverage have received a great deal of attention. DNA typing is completed by the FBI laboratory and other private, profit-based companies. Numerous changes in methods over the past two decades leave room for inference as to the success or failure of DNA profiling. The current backlog of evidence awaiting testing is perhaps the most critical evaluation and explanation.

In 2003, Washington State University completed a national study on DNA profiling. The focus of their study was the backlog of cases involving DNA evidence. Initial reports estimate the number of rape and homicide cases with possible biological evidence which local law enforcement agencies have not submitted to a laboratory for analysis is over 221,000, 160,000 and 52,000 respectively. The number of property crime cases with possible biological evidence which local law enforcement agencies have not submitted to a laboratory for analysis is over 264,000. The number of unanalyzed DNA cases reported by State and local crime laboratories is more than 57,000.

Total crime cases with possible biological evidence either still in the possession of local law enforcement, or backlogged at forensic laboratories is over one half million (542,700). (www.dnaresource.com) It is difficult to understand how the backlog became so large. This study indicates that 51% of the responding law enforcement agencies indicated that DNA forensics was not considered a tool for crime investigations. Twenty-six percent indicated cost as a primary deterrent to DNA profiling. In addition to these concerns, were indications of processing DNA forensics. State laboratories average of 24 weeks to process an unnamed suspect rape kit. The associated cost for testing was estimated at $1,100 per case, not including overhead costs.

Personnel needs were among the most significant concerns for DNA programs. It is estimated that at current levels of testing, it will take 10 years to process the backlogged cases. Storage concerns were an additional concern for the use of DNA forensic evidence. In addition to the backlogged cases, and the number of exonerations that have occurred based on DNA evidence, states have an undetermined time frame for the storage of DNA evidence. Storage concerns also increase the risk of the degradation of evidence or risk of contamination. Further concerns are related to the statute of limitations expiring before results were completed.

“Crime laboratories reported at least 1,637 backlogged rape cases that were expected to exceed the statute of limitations for prosecution by June 30, 2003. A significant number of these cases were reported to be held by the local laboratories. Furthermore, this number was generally expected to increase in the coming six-month period rather than decrease, thereby furthering the possibility that additional cases could have expiring statutes of limitation before the backlog is eliminated.” (www.dnaresource.com) Chapter Five DNA profiling and the potential results to an individual’s life elicit strong emotions on each side of the issue. An innocent individual wrongfully accused of a crime and further indicated by errors in DNA profiling make a strong case against the use of DNA evidence, and generally increase media attention to that case.

The opposing view that prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement view, is the need to provide evidence that will incarcerate the guilty and protect the general public from violent crimes. Both parties deserve our attention and are equally just in their assumptions. The question remains, is DNA evidence 100% reliable? Unequivocally, the answer is no. As long as there continues to be human intervention, which will always be the case, nothing can be 100% reliable.

Should DNA evidence be used to incarcerate individuals accused of capital offenses? This area becomes increasingly confusing. DNA evidence, in isolation, is not enough to convict an offender of a capital crime. Surprisingly, this study did not indicate DNA evidence as inadequate, but rather the process of analysis, and the lack of resources provided.The Washington State University Study reinforced the inadequacies that exist in the system. Those same inadequacies that are found in random audits of crime labs within the system.


1Kaye, D. (1995). The Relevance of “Matching” DNA: Is the Window Half Open or Half Shut?. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 85(3), 676-695. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000310896 2Ibid. 3Ibid. 4Ibid. 5Joynt, J., & Shuchart, C. (2003, March). Mortal Justice: The Demography of the Death Penalty. The Atlantic Monthly, 291, 40-1. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002447508 6Kaye, D. (1995). The Relevance of “Matching” DNA: Is the Window Half Open or Half Shut?. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 85(3), 676-695. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000310896 7Devine, R. A. (2005). Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer’s Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 95(2), 637+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5009798237 8 Mueller, Lawrence D. (1993). The Use of DNA Typing in Forensic Science. Accountability in Research. Volume 3, pp. 55-67. 9Rosenbloom, J. (2003, March). No Death-Penalty Doubts at Justice: DNA Testing and Racial Bias Raise Questions of Fairness-But Not with Ashcroft. The American Prospect, 14, 19+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000604250 10Ibid. 11The Case against the Death Penalty. (2000, February). The Progressive, 64, 8. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001150225 12Harry, J. L. (2000, December). Death Penalty Disquiet Stirs Nation. Corrections Today, 62, 122. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001210484 13Haack, S. (2003). Trials & Tribulations: Science in the Courts. Daedalus, 132(4), 54+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5007155014 14Giannelli, P. C. (2003, Fall). Crime Labs Need Improvement: The Quality of the Labs Is Criminal; Government Must Invest in Personnel and Facilities. Issues in Science and Technology, 20, 55+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002041735 15Ibid. 16Ponnuru, R. (2000, May 1). A Capital Issue : The Politics of the Death Penalty. National Review, 52,. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002340511 17Jones, C. E. (2005). Evidence Destroyed, Innocence Lost: The Preservation of Biological Evidence under Innocence Protection Statutes. American Criminal Law Review, 42(4), 1239+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5012264646 18Joynt, J., & Shuchart, C. (2003, March). Mortal Justice: The Demography of the Death Penalty. The Atlantic Monthly, 291, 40-1. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002447508 19Cole, S. A. (2005). More Than Zero: Accounting for Error in Latent Fingerprint Identification. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 95(3), 985+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5010850537 Works Cited The Case against the Death Penalty. (2000, February). The Progressive, 64, 8. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001150225 Kaye, D.H. & Edward Imwinkelried. Washington Law Review, Vol. 76, April, 2001. Washington Law Review Association. Cole, S. A. (2005). More Than Zero: Accounting for Error in Latent Fingerprint Identification. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 95(3), 985+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5010850537 The Death Penalty Debate; from the Old Public Square to Today’s Prison. (2002, June 11). The Washington Times, p. A17. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000768825 Devine, R. A. (2005). Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer’s Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 95(2), 637+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5009798237 Dinan, S. (2001, January 6). Death-Penalty Debate Tilts from a Harsh View. The Washington Times, p. 1. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000070241 Giannelli, P. C. (2003, Fall). Crime Labs Need Improvement: The Quality of the Labs Is Criminal; Government Must Invest in Personnel and Facilities. Issues in Science and Technology, 20, 55+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002041735 Haack, S. (2003). Trials & Tribulations: Science in the Courts. Daedalus, 132(4), 54+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5007155014 Harry, J. L. (2000, December). Death Penalty Disquiet Stirs Nation. Corrections Today, 62, 122. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001210484 Jones, C. E. (2005). Evidence Destroyed, Innocence Lost: The Preservation of Biological Evidence under Innocence Protection Statutes. American Criminal Law Review, 42(4), 1239+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5012264646 Joynt, J., & Shuchart, C. (2003, March). Mortal Justice: The Demography of the Death Penalty. The Atlantic Monthly, 291, 40-1. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002447508 Kaye, D. (1995). The Relevance of “Matching” DNA: Is the Window Half Open or Half Shut?. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 85(3), 676-695. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000310896 Levy, H. (1996). And the Blood Cried Out: A Prosecutor’s Spellbinding Account of the Power of DNA. New York: Basic Books. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=99903933 Lyons, D., & Burton, M. (2001, June). Proof Positive. State Legislatures, 27, 10. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001022028 Mellon, J. N. (2001). Manufacturing Convictions: Why Defendants Are Entitled to the Data Underlying Forensic DNA Kits. Duke Law Journal, 51(3), 1097+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000948991 Mueller, Lawrence D. (1993). The Use of DNA Typing in Forensic Science. Accountability in Research. Volume 3, pp. 55-67. Olson, S. (2001, April). The Genetic Archaeology of Race – DNA Analysis Is Explaining Where “Racial Difference” Comes From-And What It Does and Doesn’t Mean. the Study of Human Genetic Variation Has Become the Most Contentious Area in Modern Science. The Atlantic Monthly 69. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002407838 Peterson, R. S. (2000). DNA Databases: When Fear Goes Too Far. American Criminal Law Review, 37(3), 1219. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001803869 Ponnuru, R. (2000, May 1). A Capital Issue : The Politics of the Death Penalty. National Review, 52,. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002340511 Risinger, D. M., & Saks, M. J. (2003, Fall). A House with No Foundation: Forensic Science Needs to Build a Base Rigorous Research to Establish Its Reliability. Issues in Science and Technology, 20, 35+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002041721 Rosenbloom, J. (2003, March). No Death-Penalty Doubts at Justice: DNA Testing and Racial Bias Raise Questions of Fairness-But Not with Ashcroft. The American Prospect, 14, 19+. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000604250 Tracy, P. E., & Morgan, V. (2000). Big Brother and His Science Kit: DNA Databases for 21st Century Crime Control. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 90(2), 635. Retrieved July 4, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001761340

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