[Marxism] Re: Marxism Digest, Vol 17, Issue 12

Bill Lynch billlynch970 at netscape.net
Wed Mar 9 14:44:08 MST 2005

Fred Feldman wrote:

|A scandal seems to be building around the handling of DNA evidence in
|Australia's Queensland province. I have always hoped that the lawyer who
|dissected the DNA evidence in the Simpson case would right a book about
|his findings, which began to probe many of the ways that DNA evidence
|can be and is being manipulated or mishandled to produce false
|identifications sought by prosecutors and cops. Always important to
|remember that DNA -- the real thing -- may not lie, but liars and
|incompetents can do DNA testing.  The real odds of framed-up or
|screwed-up DNA testing are way, way, above the millions to one odds
|usually given (by OJ-phobes, etc.) against false DNA positives. Any idea
|that DNA evidence eliminates the need for a "presumption of innocence"
|is 100% crock.

There was a whole issue of Social Studies of Science (vol. 28, nos.5-6, 1998)dedicated to this topic. You may also want to check out Simon Cole, Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Harvard University Press, 2002) for some skeptical history of criminal identification culminating in a look at DNA testing.
Bill Lynch

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