Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


UK DNA Mismatch

UK DNA Mismatch

Police Minister George Hawkins wants police powers broadened to take DNA samples, but Britain's DNA database computer has mistakenly mismatched an innocent man to a burglary. John Howard reports.

The DNA mismatch, thought to be the first major mistake produced by a national computer database, has sent shockwaves through law enforcement communities not only in Great Britain but also in the United States where DNA databases are based on the British model.

The mistaken identification was disclosed by British authorities last month during a meeting with members of the National Commission on the Future of DNA evidence.

Last year, the Manchester police lifted DNA from evidence left at the scene of a burglary.

The DNA was placed in the national database where a computer matched it to one of 666,000 previously arrested persons whose DNA was on file.

The DNA matched at six points of identification, or loci, along the DNA molecule.

British authorities estimated that the likelihood of that match occuring at random was one in 37 million.

But after the suspect provided an alibi, police asked for a retest.

This time a technique which examines 10 loci and has a one-in-one billion likelihood of mismatch was used.

British authorities say the mismatch was probably caused by the rapidly increasing size of the their database. As more profiles are added the possibility of suspects with very similar DNA increases.

"Everybody who has ever been convicted on six-point DNA profiling will want to apply to have their convictions reviewed," said Angela Flower, of the British Apeals Board.

An FBI spokesman in the US has called the mismatch "mind-blowing" because the US uses the British model of DNA testing.

The computer mismatch has recently been confirmed by the British Forensic Science Service and authorities now fear that the error could prompt thousands of people convicted on six-point DNA testing to appeal their convictions.

At the time of writing it has not be confirmed how many points of identification (loci) of the DNA molecule New Zealand uses to match samples.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news