'Ironclad' Authority of DNA Evidence Questioned

Experts debate odds of coincidental matches
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2008 11:47 AM CDT
Recent findings of unexpected matches in genetic databases are leading experts to debate the soundness of DNA evidence.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – With odds of a definite match to suspects often cited as high as 1 in 100 billion, the power of DNA evidence in a criminal case is rarely disputed. But new studies are leading some to question whether DNA evidence should be an ironclad determination of guilt, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The debate began with Arizona crime lab analyst Kathryn Troyer, who discovered that genetic matches between individuals in the state’s DNA database were coming up far more often than expected. Troyer and similarly concerned scientists and legal experts are now facing off against a dismissive FBI, and state governments reluctant to be caught up in the debate.