Fabrication of DNA evience: revisited

I have been keeping an eye on media reports about the issue of fabrication of DNA evidence and everyone seems to be very excited about it, particularly how it will bring forensic science crashing to the ground and CSI ratings will plummet.

However, if one thinks about it, fabrication of any evidence type is not particularly difficult.  In a lot of cases there is generally more to it than just one science type.  I appreciate that DNA seems to be the trump card but those of us working in the industry know its limitations and comment accordingly.  If there is a conflict between the scientific data then more attention to detail is required and the findings should be reviewed.  If only DNA is being used (say, in a Cold Case Review) my experience so far has been that Police and prosecutors are aware that they shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket and make sure that they have more to their case than just a DNA hit on a database.

Rather than sinking CSI‘s ratings, I’m sure the writers can now use this as a new storyline and the baddies will still be caught and it will all be sorted out in an hour and no-one will have smudged their lipstick, not even Laurence Fishburne…

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