News & CommentCriminology

Academy's About-Face on Forensic DNA

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Science  10 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5263, pp. 803-804
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5263.803b

Summary

Four years ago, the National Research Council (NRC) published a controversial report advising the courts on the use of DNA evidence in criminal trials. The advice drew harsh criticism from prosecutors and some population geneticists, who lambasted it as arbitrary, illogical, and heavily tilted in favor of the defendant. Last week, the NRC tried again, releasing a 200-page report that recommends a more flexible approach to calculating the odds of a chance match between the defendant's DNA and DNA left at the crime scene.