Industry News

High Error Rate Exposed in DNA Testing

By October 1, 2018 No Comments

In a recently published study, almost 70 percent of crime laboratories “implicated an innocent person in a hypothetical bank robbery,” explains a New York Times op-ed. The study, which included more than 100 American labs and a few Canadian labs, gave a DNA mixture to the labs and “asked them to compare it with DNA from three suspects from a mock bank robbery.” Seventy-four of the labs incorrectly implicated one of the suspects in addition to correctly implicating the other two. In addition to this high error rate, a “shocking result” from this study is that “labs analyzing the same evidence calculated vastly different statistics” – that is, vastly different odds that could be “used by juries to consider whether a DNA match is just coincidence.” The author of this op-ed encourages crime labs to review their past cases in order to find erroneous matches that may have led to wrongful convictions.