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CRIME LABs: New DNA TECH vs “outdated” DNA methods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.
THE CASE WITH LEGAL ARGUMENT FROM BOTH PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE COUNSEL.
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.”