Introduction to Forensic DNA Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionals
The use of DNA profiling in forensic cases has been considered the most innovative technique in forensic science since fingerprinting, yet for those with limited scientific knowledge, understanding DNA enough to utilize it properly can be a daunting task.Introduction to Forensic DNA Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionalsis designed for nonscientific readers who need to learn how to effectively use forensic DNA in criminal cases.
Written by a forensic scientist world renowned for her expertise in clothing examination, the book provides a balanced perspective on the weight of DNA evidence. Going beyond a simple explanation of the methodology, it arms attorneys and other criminal justice professionals with knowledge of the strengths and limitations of the evidence, including the danger in relying on DNA statistical probabilities in the determination of guilt.
The book covers the most common DNA methods used in criminal trials today—nuclear DNA short tandem repeat (STR) techniques, mitochondrial DNA, and Y-STR profiling. It helps prosecutors know when to emphasize DNA evidence or proceed with trial in the absence of such evidence. It assists defense lawyers in knowing when to challenge DNA evidence and perhaps employ an independent expert, when to focus elsewhere, or when to secure the advantage of an early guilty plea.
- Discusses why DNA evidence is so powerful and persuasive in comparison to other forensic evidence
- Covers the most common DNA methods used in criminal trials today—nuclear DNA short tandem repeat (STR) techniques, mitochondrial DNA, and Y-STR profiling
- Examines the importance of placing DNA evidence in the context of the case and understanding its strengths and limitations
- Provides insights related to crime scene assessment, laboratory examination, and court proceedings
- Explains how to decipher a DNA report
- Illustrates concepts with notable criminal cases from around the world, as well as cases in which the author was involved for a personal perspective