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Misleading DNA Evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Juni 2014

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"...a book that should be read by all who work in DNA laboratories...there are 12 recommendations that make up preventative actions in the book's corrective action plan...both interesting and of value to the reader."--Forensic Science Review, Misleading DNA Evidence Professor Peter Gill's book, Misleading DNA evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice has international significance and could not be more timely. In the United States and across the much of the globe, there is a lingering perception that the thousands of miscarriages of justice that reach the media are usually relics from a bygone era where the forensic tools were rudimentary. It is widely assumed that the new PCR-based DNA testing systems in use today dramatically reduce or eliminate the chances of wrongful convictions. Dr. Gill explodes this myth with keen, compelling and original insights. He focuses his analysis on deeply disturbing issues that he reveals at nexus between science and the criminal justice system. This book is a must read for prosecutors, defense attorneys, academics and anyone interested in ensuring that justice is done. Indeed, it will benefit anyone who is concerned that the aura of infallibility commonly associated with DNA and associated statistics can (and has) impaired criminal investigations and related proceedings. Dr. Gill correctly warns us that the DNA aura carries with it the potential to blind, distort or mislead the way fact finders perceive information. None of us should be indifferent to the risk of misleading the finders of fact, whose search for the truth is the cornerstone of justice.--Stephen Patrick Hogan, M.A. J.D. In reading Professor Peter Gill's Misleading DNA Evidence, the importance of context in the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of DNA evidence is comprehensively illustrated. Professor Gill, through both his able and thorough instruction on the intricacies of DNA analyses and his use of real-world examples exposes the many ways that the use of DNA evidence can go tragically wrong. He skillfully exposes the host of biases and fallacies we too often fail to recognize. Professor Gill's many insightful recommendations for how we can make better use of DNA evidence makes Misleading DNA Evidence an invaluable reference that, if followed, will help us avoid the miscarriages of justices it describes. Everyone involved in the criminal justice system - judges, attorneys, police, and scientists - should be mindful of the dangers that await us when we fail to recognize the importance of context when dealing with DNA evidence.--Stephen F. Swinton, Jr., M.A., J.D.Town Justice, Niskayuna, New York

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

History I joined the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in 1982. I began research into DNA in 1985, collaborating with Sir Alec Jeffreys of Leicester University. In the same year we published the first demonstration of the forensic application of DNA profiling. In 1987 I was given an award under the civil service inventor's scheme for my discovery of the preferential sperm DNA extraction technique and the development of associated forensic tests. I was employed as Principal Research Scientist at the Forensic Science Service (FSS). This was the highest scientific grade within the FSS. I am professor of Forensic Genetics and I hold concurrent positions at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the University of Oslo. Romanovs In 1993-4 I was responsible for leading the team which confirmed the identity of the remains of the Romanov family, murdered in 1918, and also the subsequent investigation which disproved the claim of Anna Anderson to be the Duchess Anastasia (using tissue preserved in a paraffin wax block for several decades). This was the first example in the world of the solving of an historical mystery that involved the analysis of very degraded and aged material, and was one of the first demonstrations of low-template DNA analysis. Low-template DNA In relation to the above, I was responsible for developing a 'super-sensitive' method of DNA profiling that is capable of analysing DNA profiles from a handful of cells. This method was originally known as low-copy-number (LCN) DNA profiling. Now it is known as Low template DNA profiling. New statistical methods and thinking were also developed to facilitate the new methods. I am currently completing a book (deadline of 31st March, 2014) to be published by Elsevier that describes methods to report 'trace-DNA' along with the various pitfalls that are illustrated by recent miscarriages of justice. National DNA database I was responsible for leading the team that developed the first multip

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9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Compulsory reading for Judges and jury members 22. Januar 2015
Von David Anderson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Professor Peter Gill is a British forensic scientist who for more than 30 years has been at the forefront of the field of DNA profiling, a technique he first developed and published with Sir Alec Jeffreys in 1985. Over recent years he has become increasingly concerned with the potential for this powerful technique to be misused and abused to convict the innocent. In this book he explains, with some important examples, how the very power of this technique, if taken out of context, can be innocently or deliberately misused in this way. Let us assume that my profile is on the UK database of around 5 million men. If you take a simple sample of cells from the inside of my mouth, and apply modern techniques on modern equipment, the two profiles will match with a chance quoted as one in a billion (or even more). The problem is that we are shedding DNA all the time, and now the technique is so sensitive that this unique profile can be obtained from a sample of just a few cells. The existence of a one in a billion `match' is, unfortunately, all too often equated in Court with a one in a billion certainty of guilt.

There are a number of reasons for this over-reliance on DNA, which he examines; these include preconceptions that come from the use of DNA in popular crime programmes, which he labels `the CSI effect'. Then there are misguided or ruthless Court 'experts' everywhere, who through naivety or financial gain can fool Courts with the strength of a DNA match, while not explaining all the possibilities, which include the risk of contamination anywhere from the crime scene through to the laboratory. Many such `experts' deliberately confuse by failing to point out the certainty of innocent DNA mixing between two cohabitants, and the risks of transfer of DNA from the innocent by crime scene investigators failing to change latex gloves. And there is the `swamping effect', in which the high certainty of a match has led investigators and Courts to ignore completely overwhelming exculpatory evidence. The strongest case here is that of Adam Scott, whose DNA sample had been taken because of a minor offense, and put onto the UK DNA database. A short time later a girl was raped in Manchester; and a perfect match was obtained between a male DNA profile on the rape kit sample, and Adam Scott; so he was arrested and charged. Scott persistently and loudly proclaimed his innocence, and indeed had never been to Manchester and had a strong alibi. Eventually it emerged that Scott's DNA profile and the crime sample had been run in the same laboratory, and a contamination event had occurred; so after six months in prison awaiting trial he was released. Another case Peter Gill considers in detail is the supposed DNA evidence used to incriminate Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher. He dedicates a full chapter to this, and with scientific precision demonstrates that the supposedly incriminating DNA evidence has no scientific basis. He is circumspect in how this occurred, but one is left in little doubt of the importance here of prosecutorial and judicial confirmation bias. In a jurisdiction such as Italy in which the nearest and dearest are routinely accused and pursued in a murder enquiry, this misuse of DNA is very dangerous for the innocent, and obviously also helps the true perpetrator stay free to strike again.

This is a very serious little book, which should be compulsory reading for all judges, prosecutors, court experts and jurors. I have a scientific training, and I had to read it twice; so the untrained should not expect the statistical and scientific journey Gill traces to be an easy one. But in the interests of justice it is important that all concerned appreciate that this very powerful technique, extensively and positively used in the Innocence Project to free innocent people, can also be misused to convict others. It is all too easy for police and Courts to confuse the mere detection of a specific DNA profile, with its possible relevance to a crime of rape or murder.
13 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
7) alone would make me glad I purchased this book 2. November 2014
Von Christopher Halkides - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
As a protein biochemist who has taken an interest in DNA and blood forensics in the last five years, I waited for publication of this book with hopes that it would be interesting and information. The book well exceeded my expectations. Professor Gill’s discussion of the four levels of evidence (section 1.7) alone would make me glad I purchased this book. He also discusses errors in the ways that forensic scientists frame opposing hypotheses very clearly in the Scott and Cleobury cases. He also discusses the Farah Jama case and the “excellent” Vincent report that cleared Jama, despite the precise mechanism of contamination being unknown. The Scott case also demonstrates that DNA in a negative control is sometimes ignored by the lab.

Chapter 5 is devoted to the prosecution’s errors in the Amanda Knox/Raffaele case. His criticism of an absurd inference about a knife from Sollecito’s flat is complemented by an explanation of how the prosecution could have tested its hypothesis. He does the same thing with respect to the paradox of the presence of a tiny amount of the victim’s DNA that might have been on the knife with the complete absence of blood. My only criticism of this book is that it is too short.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Bring us up to speed with DNA evidence 29. November 2014
Von Don Mathias - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Every criminal lawyer needs to read Peter Gill's "Misleading DNA Evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice" (Academic Press, 2014).

Judges should read it too. It is admirably clear and no expertise is required of the reader. If you have some experience with DNA evidence and Bayesian reasoning you will still find the book useful for its descriptions of how things can go wrong.

Peter Gill is one of the leading experts on forensic DNA. What he has to say is well worth attention.

Things can go wrong (as I so eloquently put it above) because DNA detection is now very sensitive and DNA is everywhere. A typical crime scene will have detectable amounts of DNA from many sources. Partial DNA profiles can be detected too, and this complicates the evaluation of mixed samples. Investigators can contaminate a crime scene, transferring DNA from one thing to another, with even latex gloves being vehicles for transfer. Detection of DNA does not mean that it is necessarily present because it was in a body fluid present at a crime scene. Samples collected for analysis must be sealed, and gloves changed, so that no transfer should occur between them, and in the laboratory the risk of transfer between suspect and scene samples must be minimized. There should be studies of the risks of contamination within a laboratory, and these should be done without the knowledge of those who work in that laboratory.

Courts tend to leap to conclusions that are not scientifically sound. Inferences that could be tested experimentally are often drawn without that evidence. A common example may be the assumption that a defendant's DNA on a murder weapon found at a crime scene was only on the weapon and was not also on a number of other items which would innocently explain why it was also on the weapon; what the media refers to as the Amanda Knox case is an illustration that Dr Gill uses to make this point: the defendant's DNA on a knife, allegedly the murder weapon, in a kitchen drawer, was given significance it may not have deserved in the absence of evidence of whether her DNA was also on other items in the drawer (which it surely would have been as she used the kitchen).

The Kindle app version is very well produced, giving coloured text, with links that are easy to navigate, including links to some of the cited technical papers that are available online. It is a book that should be discussed with expert witnesses, whether they are relied on by the prosecutor or by the defendant.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Compulsory reading for all those engaged in Criminal Justice work. 15. Dezember 2014
Von Owen E Harold - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I have found this book invaluable in better understanding the true significance of DNA evidence in a Criminal Justice setting and also the manners in which such evidence can be presented in a misleading way or be misused or misunderstood.
I suggest that it is compulsory reading for all those engaged in Criminal Justice work and not just for the defence but also the prosecution and the judiciary.
The only reason it did not get five stars is that the book explains in its later chapters the calculations of the "probabilities" or "odds" of DNA results as they relate to the "target population", DNA databases and so on.
In doing so the book uses complex statistical formulae which are a little inaccessible for someone like me without a strong mathematical background.
Even so, there is a lot to be gained from trying to understand as much as one can from what the book describes.
11 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Story Behind People v. Molineux 17. August 2014
Von Rauch Wise - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The book details the story behind one of the most well know cases to lawyers who defend those accused of crime - People v. Molineux, the New York case that set the standard for understand when other bad acts are admissible. A required red for those who are interested in this case. Well researched with some surprising connect to the politics of the 1970's. You will have to read it to find out this connection.
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