Litigator's Guide to DNA From the Laboratory to the Courtroom

ISBN-10: 0123740363

ISBN-13: 9780123740366

Edition: 2008

Authors: Ron C. Michaelis, Robert G. Flanders, Paula Wulff

List price: $109.00
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Simply a crucial read, A Litigator's Guide to DNA educates litigators, judges, criminalists, students and others about all aspects of the use of DNA evidence in criminal and civil trials. It includes discussions of the molecular biological basis for the tests, essential laboratory practices, probability theory and mathematical calculations, and issues relevant to the prosecution and the defense, and to the judge and jury hearing the case. The work is also extremely useful as a text for students aspiring to careers in forensic science and criminal law. The authors provide a full background on both the molecular biology and the mathematical theory behind forensic tests, describing the molecular biological process in simple mechanical terms that are familiar to everyone, and periodically emphasizing the practical, "take-home" messages the litigator truly needs to understand. * "Recapping the Main Point" boxes provide a simple and concise summary of the main points * Includes a glossary of essential terms and their definitions * Contains a full-color insert with illustrations that emphasize key concepts
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Book details

List price: $109.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology Books
Publication date: 1/31/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 448
Size: 7.75" wide x 10.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.772
Language: English

The Structure of DNA and the Variability of the Human DNA Sequence
You Are Out of Your Field, But Not Out of Your Depth
Markers, Alleles, Genotypes and Profiles
The Two Sources of DNA in Human Cells
The Structure of DNA and RNA
Variability Is the Rule, Not the Exception
Polymorphisms Commonly Used for Forensic Testing
Using the DNA Profile to Identify an Unknown Perpetrator
References and Additional Readings
The Molecular Biological Basis of Forensic DNA Tests
Extraction and Quantification of DNA
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-Based Tests
Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (VNTR) Testing
Direct Sequencing
References and Additional Readings
Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Sources of Uncertainty in the Data
Laboratory Accreditation, Personnel Certification and Proficiency Testing
Validation Studies
The Inevitable Nemeses: Suboptimal Samples and Human Error
Allele Dropout Due to Degradation, Preferential Amplification and Stochastic Effects
Artifacts Inherent in STR Analyses
Hybridization Specificity in Dot-Blot Tests
References and Additional Readings
Population Genetics, Probability Calculations and the Proper Interpretation of the Evidence
The Common Logical Fallacies
Databanks and Databases
Allele Frequencies, Genotype Probabilities and the Product Rule for Independent Events
The Principles of Population Genetics that Impact Forensic DNA Calculations
Applying the Product Rule-Compensating for Population Substructure and Possible Allele Dropout
The Likelihood Ratio (LR) Allows the Analyst to Compare the Strength of Competing Hypotheses
The Application of Bayes' Theorem to Paternity Disputes
Recommended Procedure for Analyzing Mixed Samples
References and Additional Readings
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Analyses
The mtDNA Molecule-Abundant and Durable but Less Variable than nDNA
Laboratory Analysis of mtDNA Haplotypes
Matrilineal Inheritance and a Lack of Recombination
A High Mutation Rate Leads to Mitochondrial Heteroplasmy
Statistical Analysis of mtDNA Haplotype Data
References and Additional Readings
Y Chromosome Analyses
Y Chromosome Evolution and its Consequences for Forensic Analyses
Laboratory Analysis of Y Chromosome Haplotypes
Statistical Analysis of Y Chromosome Haplotypes
References and Additional Readings
DNA in Court
The Evolution of Standards for Admissibility of Experts and Evidence
The Ongoing Controversy Regarding Laboratory Error Rates
Counsels' Obligations Regarding Discovery
Expert Witnesses
The Durability of DNA Presents Problems for Statutes of Limitation
Rape Shield Laws May Limit the Use of DNA Evidence
Judges' and Jurors' Perceptions of DNA Evidence
References and Additional Readings
Arguing for the Prosecution
Obtaining DNA Samples
DNA in the Courtroom: The Essentials of the Prosecution's Presentation
References and Additional Readings
Arguing for the Defense
The Defense's Choice of Strategy
Elements of a Competent Defense
When the Defendant Has Been Identified by a Databank Search
References and Additional Readings
Postconviction DNA Testing
DNA has the Power to Exonerate the Innocent
Avenues for Relief
There Are Many Procedural Obstacles
New Evidence May Justify a New Theory of the Case
Accessing the Necessary Samples
Know the Specific Provisions of the Controlling Statute
References and Additional Readings
Using the Chi-Square Test to Determine if a Population Conforms to HWE Expectations
How the RMP, Prior Odds of Guilt, and the PFP Influence the Posterior Odds of Guilt (POG)
Paternity Index (PI) Calculations for Different Combinations of Maternal, Child and Alleged Father Genotypes
A Sample Consent Form to Collect an Oral Swab, Which Allows the Profile Obtained to Be Entered Into a Databank for Use in Additional Investigations
Doing Your Own Research: Useful References, Websites and Strategies for Finding Current Information
Glossary of Key Terms
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