Texas Forensic Sci Commission puts some pressure on the major National DNA crime lab qualification company

The first is from the FSC putting demands on the American Society of Crime Lab Directors regarding their customer crime labs following proper standards for stats handling DNA samples from multiple sources (mixtures).

http://www.fsc.texas.gov/sites/default/files/L_fr%20DiMaio%20FINAL%20ASCLD%20Announcement%20DNA%20Mixture%2009302015.pdf

The second is from the ASCLD asking some questions about verification vs validation and raising the use of non-suspect relative databases ( private DNA companies like Ancestry.com giving the police access to their genealogy DNA).  The FSC deferred that subject to further discussion within the entire forensic community rather than just the State of Texas. I wonder why the ASCLD asked about private databases? Almost all  of its membership are ex crime lab directors and forensic science bureaucrats and have ties with law enforcement. Maybe it is probing to see if they have more challenges coming in their direction? The latest forensic news has these databases possessing their own issue problems.

The FSC answers to the ASCLD are included in the pdf below. The FSC re confirmed what they are concerned about (accuracy and reliable methods) which is contained in this image. The bold text is from the ASCLD.

fsc copy

http://www.fsc.texas.gov/sites/default/files/151020-ASCLD-LAB%20Response%20to%20TX%20Forensic%20Sci%20Comm[1].pdf

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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One Response to Texas Forensic Sci Commission puts some pressure on the major National DNA crime lab qualification company

  1. SCP says:

    From these communications I can assume:
    1. Texas forensic crime labs do not understand what “validation experiments” means and therefore have forgone validation experiments to assure reproducibility and “known error rates”. Testimony from so-called DNA analysts, far-reaching and otherwise, has commenced without question (or with blissfully ignorant assurance to reliability). The non-scientific jury has to believe that the scientists know what they are doing…unfortunately.
    2. ASCLD/LAB has been faking accreditations for the past 10 years since they are supposed to be scrutinizing lab protocols for quality assurance matters (twice a year, every year). If ASCLD/LAB is just now explaining “validation experiments”, what have they been doing for the past 10 years. Why have these labs been given “accreditation” status if the crime lab protocols are not proven to be reproducible and reliable from analyst to analyst. ASCLD/LAB has been charging a hefty tax-payer fee for essentially fake documentation.

    This DNA statistics problem should have been rectified back in 1999…before DNA testing was introduced into the criminal justice system. The amount of time and tax-payer money that this will cost (not to mention the wrongful convictions that may be discovered) for the retro-analysis of data is atrocious, if not criminal.

    The Directors of these crime labs should be held accountable for NOT doing these validation experiments and ill-training the thousands of lab analysts that jeopardize their careers testifying to junk statistics.

    And ASCLD/LAB should be charged with fraud, lying to the public.

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