Evaluating forensic DNA evidence: Connecting the dots

Meakin, Georgina E., Kokshoorn, Bas, van Oorschot, Roland A. H. and Szkuta, Bianca 2020, Evaluating forensic DNA evidence: Connecting the dots, WIREs Forensic Science, pp. 1-19, doi: 10.1002/wfs2.1404.

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Title Evaluating forensic DNA evidence: Connecting the dots
Author(s) Meakin, Georgina E.
Kokshoorn, Bas
van Oorschot, Roland A. H.
Szkuta, BiancaORCID iD for Szkuta, Bianca orcid.org/0000-0003-2272-5355
Journal name WIREs Forensic Science
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 2573-9468
Keyword(s) activity level
DNA transfer
evaluative opinion
source level
trace DNA
Summary Technological developments within the field of forensic genetics have enhanced the sensitivity and specificity of DNA testing tremendously and have broadened the applications of biological evidence in criminal investigations. Evaluation and communication of the evidential findings within criminal cases have not maintained the same pace, which has largely stemmed from a failure to adopt a standardized approach within and across the various fields of forensic science. Within forensic biology, this has led to unjustified opinions on the weight of the evidence and occurrences of the association fallacy, when the weight of evidence given propositions at one level of the hierarchy of propositions is inappropriately transposed to a higher level. We further define the association fallacy to include the terms, “source level fallacy” and “activity level fallacy,” to enable the forensic science community to better identify and address issues in biological evidence evaluation. It is important to understand these concepts and their causes, and in doing so, identify potential avenues to avoid these fallacies in forensic science casework. These avenues include training and education of forensic and legal professionals, as well as research into transfer, persistence, prevalence and recovery (TPPR) of DNA and biological evidence in general.
Notes Early View Article
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/wfs2.1404
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 069901 Forensic Biology
010403 Forensic Statistics
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30146282

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