Discuss the significance of recent court rulings addressing the admissibility of DNA evidence in the courtroom.

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emelie23's profile pic

emelie23 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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All forensic methods for individualization—fingerprints, dental impressions, striations on bullets, hair and fiber comparisons, voice spectrograms, neutron-activation analysis, blood-grouping and serum-protein and enzyme typing, as well as DNA profiling—demand an ability to match samples with reasonable accuracy with respect to characteristics that can help to differentiate one source from another. If such evidence is to be useful in court, scientifically acceptable procedures must permit the reliable measurement and comparison of physical features. Likewise, a scientific basis must exist for concluding that properly performed comparisons can distinguish possible sources.

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imarion | (Level 1) eNoter

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The popular perception is that DNA speaks the truth -- you're either guilty or you're innocent, there's no ambiguity. But DNA is only a tool. It gives information depending on the nature of the samples and how well the analysis is done. "Garbage in, garbage out" is one concern, and the risk of overstating the implications of the evidence is another.

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