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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    White House report on DNA


    critical of some of the analysis done

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I have always been astounded at how little defence attorneys challenge DNA, especially mixtures of more than one DNA in a sample and the statistical weight applied to the results,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Left Coast USA
    Quote Originally Posted by joe jones View Post

    critical of some of the analysis done
    After reading the article and with a quick Google, it seems this argument has been going on for over 20 years.

    THE O.J. SIMPSON MURDER TRIAL : Prosecutor Vows to Attack Defense DNA Testing Expert : Forensics: If Nobel Prize winner testifies, motion says, he will be asked about allegations of scientific fraud and drug use. Simpson attorney says such a move would be 'character assassination.'
    The Los Angeles Times
    March 28, 1995

    A prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson double murder trial threatened Monday to launch a personal attack on a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, who Simpson attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. promised jurors would be an expert witness for the defense, if the chemist is called as a witness.

    Kary Mullis won a 1993 Nobel Prize for conceiving a process called PCR that is used in testing blood samples for DNA, but a motion filed by prosecutor Rockne P. Harmon asserts that Mullis' expertise has little relevance to the Simpson trial.

    The defense has suggested that Mullis will say he has reservations about the forensic applications of DNA testing in criminal cases.

    Harmon also alleged in the motion that Mullis has admitted engaging in scientific fraud and is a self-admitted "longtime drug (LSD) user/abuser."

    Harmon's motion offers no detail to substantiate the allegations.

    "Should the defense choose to call Dr. Mullis to voice any relevant criticisms about forensic PCR applications, the prosecution is fully prepared to cross-examine Mullis on every aspect of his life which reflects on his credibility, competency and sobriety," said Harmon, a deputy district attorney in Alameda County who is a DNA expert and is assisting the Los Angeles County district attorney's office in the Simpson case.

    He launched the salvo against Mullis in a motion seeking to limit questioning that would attack the reliability of DNA evidence.

    Mullis was not available for comment. But defense DNA lawyers issued a sharp retort.

    "On the one hand, prosecutor Rock Harmon is saying we have no right to attack the reliability of DNA testing, with the opinions of world-renowned scientists, yet he should have the right to attack the credibility of the scientist who won the Nobel Prize for inventing the very technology, because of his personal views on matters completely unrelated to the issue at hand," said attorneys Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, who specialize in DNA matters.

    "What Harmon proposes to do is character assassination of Dr. Mullis, instead of rebuttal to Dr. Mullis' scientific views. The most important point is he does not identify any prosecution witnesses who will actually say that they disregard Mullis' views about PCR on the basis of his lifestyle. That's utter nonsense; that is just Harmon," Scheck and Neufeld added.

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