A WORLD-FIRST handbook for lawyers, police and scientists on the use of DNA evidence was launched this week at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).
Legal practitioners need to understand, along with other “lay” audiences, the process and potential pitfalls to ensure forensic DNA evidence is used to its full potential, said co-editor and DNA expert Simon Walsh from the UTS Centre for Forensic Science.
New Zealand forensic scientist Dr John Buckelton, University of Auckland statistician Associate Professor Christopher Triggs and Walsh co-edited ‘Forensic DNA Evidence Interpretation’ as a guide to the complex issues of DNA casework.
Walsh said there is some “pretty complicated maths” in the book, but 60 tables simplify advanced statistical analysis principles for the caseworker.
The handbook also includes what Buckelton referred to as “light relief” case studies of the OJ Simpson murder trial and the identification of the remains of the Russian royal family, as well as the fatal raid on the Branch Dravidian compound at Waco.