Thursday, September 30, 2004

Improbable DNA

Jennifer Mnookin, "Fingerprint Evidence in an Age of DNA Profiling," 67 Brooklyn L. Rev. 13, 49-50 (2001)(footnotes omitted):
[I]n a 1999 case in England ... Raymond Easton was charged with burglary after authorities made a "cold hit" with his DNA in a DNA database. His DNA matched the crime scene DNA at six loci. Because there was only a one in thirty-seven million chance that a randomly selected person's DNA would match, Raymond Easton was charged with burgling a house 200 miles from where he lived. However, after Easton, who had advanced Parkinson's disease and was unable even to drive a car, offered an alibi for the night in question, the DNA was eventually tested at four more loci. This more sophisticated test showed there was no DNA match after all. All charges were dropped.
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