Forensics in Focus @csidds | Feb 24, 2014| Years Old DNA Testing vs Current DNA Testing | A case of first impression?

 MONDAY FEB 24, 2014

CRIME LABs: New DNA TECH vs “outdated”  DNA methods

The history of DNA technology, its standards and population statistics use in criminal courts goes back to the time (and earlier) of this original trial. This should be interesting to say the least. According to this appellate litigation strategy, early DNA claims of specificity (using RFLP, I assume) may vary when compared to PCR and STR profiling in use today. Any variance could be ruled not material by the judge (a true “non-science” kinda guy) and fail to overturn the conviction (i.e. this variance “would not have changed the outcome of the trial). The article, however, does not describe the DNA method being scrutinized but “retesting the test” theory seems thin, absent the scenario where the crime lab itself flubbed up.



A 15 year old conviction with DNA and other evidence is up for new biological review on appeal. The defense wants current methods to retest old testing. The prosecution presents an expectation of it having no effect. Here are some quotes:

“The evidence of Mr. Rasmussen’s guilt was overwhelming, and I think further DNA evidence will confirm the truth of his guilt,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said this month.”

I’ve heard that one a few times and it is proper to say. It’s when DAs contest post-conviction DNA testing in cases where pseudo-science was presented to convict that gets me riled up. As in bitemark cases I have consulted named: Brewer, Brooks, Stinson, Starks, Krone, Hill, Young. Prade and Richardson.

Here’s the defense side of our latest story.

“Mr. Rasmussen maintains he is innocent and seeks modern DNA testing that was unavailable at the time of his trial,” wrote lawyer Anna Tolin of the Innocence Project Northwest, which has taken Rasmussen’s case. Click this link for the article.  “Requested testing has the potential to scientifically establish his innocence and conclusively identify the true perpetrator of this crime.”

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in AAFS, ABFO, Bitemarks, criminal justice, Forensic Science, junk forensic science. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Forensics in Focus @csidds | Feb 24, 2014| Years Old DNA Testing vs Current DNA Testing | A case of first impression?

  1. csidds says:

    Reblogged this on FORENSICS in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends and commented:

    Followup from last post about DNA double-speak from myopic (or worse) District Attorneys.

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