Introduction to Forensic DNA Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionals

Introduction to Forensic DNA Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionals

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The use of DNA profiling in forensic cases has been considered the most innovative technique in forensic science since fingerprinting, yet for those with limited scientific knowledge, understanding DNA enough to utilize it properly can be a daunting task. Introduction to Forensic DNA Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionals is designed for nonscientific readers who need to learn how to effectively use forensic DNA in criminal cases. Written by a forensic scientist world renowned for her expertise in clothing examination, the book provides a balanced perspective on the weight of DNA evidence. Going beyond a simple explanation of the methodology, it arms attorneys and other criminal justice professionals with knowledge of the strengths and limitations of the evidence, including the danger in relying on DNA statistical probabilities in the determination of guilt. The book covers the most common DNA methods used in criminal trials today-nuclear DNA short tandem repeat (STR) techniques, mitochondrial DNA, and Y-STR profiling. It helps prosecutors know when to emphasize DNA evidence or proceed with trial in the absence of such evidence. It assists defense lawyers in knowing when to challenge DNA evidence and perhaps employ an independent expert, when to focus elsewhere, or when to secure the advantage of an early guilty plea. By imparting practical and theoretical knowledge in an accessible manner, the book demystifies the topic to help both sides of the adversarial system understand where DNA evidence fits within the context of the case.

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  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 14mm | 320g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • CRC Press Inc
  • Bosa RocaUnited States
  • English
  • 11 black & white illustrations, 2 black & white tables
  • 1439899096
  • 9781439899090
  • 731,359

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... a valuable introduction, with many useful examples. The limitations of the subject, the need for caution in interpretation and problems such as contamination and degradation are expertly handled. -Graham Fricke, QC, retired County Court Judge Overall this book is very clearly written. The author is able to simplify complex scientific terms and concepts into information understandable by a wide audience with divers experiences and backgrounds ... This book will serve as a great reference for nonscientists who routinely encounter DNA evidence within the criminal justice system and for students interested in an introduction to forensic DNA evidence. -Book review by Krista E. Latham, PhD, appearing in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, July 2014, Vol. 59, No. 4

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About Jane Moira Taupin

Jane Moira Taupin obtained a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Melbourne in Australia. She has presented biological expert evidence in courts of law since 1987 and has presented DNA profiling evidence in court since 1999. She earned a postgraduate diploma along with an MA, both in criminology from the University of Melbourne. Her master's thesis in 1994 on the impact of DNA profiling was one of the first in the field. She is currently an independent forensic consultant and trainer. She has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals discussing trace evidence, clothing damage, and blood pattern analysis and has also co-authored a text on the forensic examination of clothing.

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