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View Diary: SCOTUS to decide on DNA collection in rape case. (89 comments)

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  •  That is so false, (0+ / 0-)

    and so demonstrably false, that I have to call it a lie.

    There simply are not "thousands of people" falsely convicted by erroneous DNA evidence.  It is unlikely that there are any.  It just doesn't work that way . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:36:10 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  DNA testing is exclusionary, not conclusive (0+ / 0-)

      This is how people get proven innocent, when part of their DNA pattern can be shown to NOT be in the suspect DNA they're eliminated. What alleles and markers are tested for will have a significant effect as to the ability to rule someone out as a suspect.

      But that's where being poor becomes a crime. A typical test will have a false positive rate of 1 in 10,000 and unless you can afford a much better test that can do a better job of eliminating you from the set of possible suspects you're unlucky and thus guilty. Worse, if the sample from the crime scene is contaminated in any way it may be impossible to get better exclusionary testing.

      But that's not the only way DNA is misused. Poor handling of DNA evidence has caused major cities like Houston to shut down their labs and throw out convictions based on faulty evidence. Recently a DNA lab was shown to be falsifying evidence to get convictions in drug cases. Maybe thousands is too high, though I seriously doubt it.

      To me progress is not so much a goal as it is a process and I believe it will not follow a straight course. Remember, the drops of water that form the river may not take the shortest path but they will still reach the ocean.

      by ontheleftcoast on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:38:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "DNA labs" don't do "drug cases" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloraLine

        unless there's a homocide or rape involved, or some other severely extenuating circumstance.  Different techniques, different technologies altogether.  Controlled substance analysis is usually done (as an entry level position) at a "full service" crime lab (which may, of course, do DNA in a different part of the facility).  You are unlikely (very unlikely) to find the same criminalist working both.

        Innocent or victim, DNA is your friend . . . you only have to worry about "getting caught" (by DNA testing) if you did it . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:48:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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