National Academies Press: OpenBook

DNA Technology in Forensic Science (1992)

Chapter: FRONT MATTER

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

DNA Technology in Forensic Science

Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science

Board on Biology

Commission on Life Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1992

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

National Academy Press
2101 Constitution Avenue., N.W. Washington, DC 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

This Board on Biology study was supported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Institutes of Health National Center for Human Genome Research, the National Institute of Justice, the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the State Justice Institute.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science. DNA technology in forensic science / Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science, Board on Biology, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-309-04587-8

1. Forensic genetics—Congresses. 2. DNA fingerprinting— Congresses. I. Title.

[DNLM: 1. DNA—analysis. 2. Forensic Medicine—methods. W 786 N277d]

RA1057.5N37 1992

614'.1—dc20

DNLM/DLC

for Library of Congress 92-16341

CIP

This book is printed with soy ink on acid-free recycled stock.

Copyright 1992 by the National Academy of Sciences.

Printed in the United States of America

First Printing, July 1992

Second Printing, January 1993

Third Printing, May 1997

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

COMMITTEE ON DNA TECHNOLOGY IN FORENSIC SCIENCE

VICTOR A. McKUSICK, Chairman,

The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

PAUL B. FERRARA,

Division of Forensic Sciences, Department of General Services, Richmond, Virginia

HAIG H. KAZAZIAN,

The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

MARY-CLAIRE KING,

University of California, Berkeley, California

ERIC S. LANDER,

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts

HENRY C. LEE,

Connecticut State Police, Meriden, Connecticut

RICHARD O. LEMPERT,

University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan

RUTH MACKLIN,

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York

THOMAS G. MARR,

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York

PHILIP R. REILLY,

Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, Waltham, Massachusetts

GEORGE F. SENSABAUGH, Jr.,

University of California, Berkeley, California

JACK B. WEINSTEIN,

U.S. District Court, New York, Brooklyn, New York

Former Members

C. THOMAS CASKEY (Resigned December 21, 1991),

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

MICHAEL W. HUNKAPILLER (Resigned August 17, 1990),

Applied Biosystems Inc., Foster City, California

National Research Council Staff

OSKAR R. ZABORSKY, Study Director; Director,

Board on Biology

NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Editor

MARIETTA E. TOAL, Administrative Secretary

MARY KAY PORTER, Senior Secretary

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

BOARD ON BIOLOGY

HAROLD E. VARMUS, Chairman,

University of California, San Francisco, California

ANANDA M. CHAKRABARTY,

University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

MICHAEL T. CLEGG,

University of California, Riverside, California

RICHARD E. DICKERSON,

University of California, Los Angeles, California

RICHARD E. LENSKI,

University of Michigan, East Lansing, Michigan

BARBARA J. MAZUR,

E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware

HAROLD J. MOROWITZ,

George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

DANIEL E. MORSE,

University of California, Santa Barbara, California

PHILIP NEEDLEMAN,

Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri

MARY LOU PARDUE,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge,Massachusetts

DAVID D. SABATINI,

New York University, New York, New York

MICHAEL E. SOULÉ,

University of California, Santa Cruz, California

MALCOLM S. STEINBERG,

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

DAVID B. WAKE,

University of California, Berkeley, California

DANIEL I. C. WANG,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge,Massachusetts

BRUCE M. ALBERTS, ex officio,

University of California, San Francisco,California

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

COMMISSION ON LIFE SCIENCES

BRUCE M. ALBERTS, Chairman,

University of California, San Francisco, California

BRUCE N. AMES,

University of California, Berkeley, California

J. MICHAEL BISHOP,

University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California

MICHAEL T. CLEGG,

University of California, Riverside, California

GLENN A. CROSBY,

Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

LEROY E. HOOD,

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

DONALD F. HORNIG,

Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

MARIAN E. KOSHLAND,

University of California, Berkeley, California

RICHARD E. LENSKI,

University of Michigan, East Lansing, Michigan

STEVEN P. PAKES,

University of Texas, Dallas, Texas

EMIL A. PFITZER,

Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., Nutley, New Jersey

THOMAS D. POLLARD,

The Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Maryland

JOSEPH E. RALL,

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

RICHARD D. REMINGTON,

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

PAUL G. RISSER,

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

HAROLD M. SCHMECK, JR.,

Armonk, New York

RICHARD B. SETLOW,

Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York

CARLA J. SHATZ,

University of California, Berkeley, California

TORSTEN N. WIESEL,

Rockefeller University, New York, New York

National Research Council Staff

JOHN E. BURRIS, Executive Director

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an advisor to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Acknowledgment and Disclaimer:

This report was supported with joint funding from the National Institute of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the State Justice Institute, under award #89-IJ-CX-0055 from the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

Preface

In recent years, advances in the techniques for mapping and sequencing the human genome have contributed to progress in both basic biology and medicine. The applications of these techniques have not been restricted to biology and medicine, however, but have also entered forensic science. Today, methods developed in basic molecular biology laboratories can potentially be used in forensic science laboratories in a matter of months.

On the basis of its study of the mapping and sequencing of the human genome (reported in 1988), the Board on Biology and several federal agencies recognized the potential of DNA typing technology for forensic science. In particular, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the preeminent organization in the United States for the development and application of forensic techniques, initiated an effort to develop and evaluate DNA typing in forensic applications in the mid-1980s. The first case work was performed in December 1988. Several private-sector laboratories entered the field early, and state government crime laboratories also began to offer services in DNA typing. However, as DNA typing entered the courtrooms of this country, questions appeared about its reliability and methodological standards and about the interpretation of population statistics.

By the summer of 1989, a crescendo of questions concerning DNA typing had been raised in connection with some well-publicized criminal cases, and calls for an examination of the issues by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences came from the scientific and legal communities. As a response, this study was initiated in January 1990.

Because of the broad ramifications of forensic DNA typing, a number

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

of federal agencies and one private foundation provided financial support for this study: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Institutes of Health National Center for Human Genome Research, the National Institute of Justice, the National Science Foundation, the State Justice Institute, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Many persons offered assistance to the committee and staff during this complex study. In particular, the following deserve recognition and praise for their efforts: John Hicks, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Elke Jordan and Eric Juengst, National Institutes of Health National Center for Human Genome Research; James K. Stewart, Charles B. DeWitt, Bernard V. Auchter, and Richard Laymon, National Institute of Justice; John C. Wooley, National Science Foundation; David I. Tevelin, State Justice Institute; and Michael S. Teitelbaum, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

I also thank the many experts who offered their advice to the committee during its briefings and open meetings. The names of those who offered testimony are given in the appendix. Additionally, I want to thank the many who wrote to me or to the National Research Council and provided valuable data and suggestions to the committee; much was gained from their input. We also acknowledge the efforts of Robert Kushen, Columbia Law School, in assisting Judge Weinstein. I also thank Della Malone, my secretary, for her help throughout. The committee thanks the reviewers of our report for many valuable comments and suggestions. Although the reviewers are anonymous to us, I personally want to thank them for their constructive comments and suggestions.

The staff of the Board on Biology deserve special praise for their efforts during the many months of intense activity. Oskar R. Zaborsky, Study Director and Director of the Board on Biology, deserves recognition for his administrative and technical contributions and for handling many complex matters. Marietta Toal, Administrative Secretary, served the committee well in logistics and the preparation of the report. The committee also thanks Mary Kay Porter for her assistance. Norman Grossblatt edited the report.

Last but not least, I thank my colleagues on the committee who served so well and unselfishly to address key issues from the perspective of their special expertise and to prepare this report in a timely fashion.

DNA typing for personal identification is a powerful tool for criminal investigation and justice. At the same time, the technical aspects of DNA typing are vulnerable to error, and the interpretation of results requires appreciation of the principles of population genetics. These considerations and concerns arising out of the felon DNA databanks and the privacy of DNA information made it imperative to develop guidelines and safeguards for the most effective and socially beneficial use of this powerful tool. We hope that our efforts will enhance understanding of the issues and serve to

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

bring together people of good will from science, technology, law, and ethics. We hope that our report will serve well the sponsors and the general public.

Victor A. McKusick

Chairman

Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×

A Statement by the Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science

On April 14, 1992, The New York Times printed an article on this report. That article seriously misrepresented the findings of the committee; in an article on April 15, the Times corrected the misrepresentation. To avoid any potential confusion engendered by the April 14 article, the committee provides the following clarifying statement:

We recommend that the use of DNA analysis for forensic purposes, including the resolution of both criminal and civil cases, be continued while improvements and changes suggested in this report are being made. There is no need for a general moratorium on the use of the results of DNA typing either in investigation or in the courts.

We regard the accreditation and proficiency testing of DNA typing laboratories as essential to the scientific accuracy, reliability, and acceptability of DNA typing evidence in the future. Laboratories involved in forensic DNA typing should move quickly to establish quality-assurance programs. After a sufficient time for implementation of quality-assurance programs has passed, courts should view quality control as necessary for general acceptance.

The Committee

Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Research Council. 1992. DNA Technology in Forensic Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1866.
×
   

Laboratory Error Rates

 

88

   

Toward a Firm Foundation for Statistical Interpretation

 

89

   

Summary of Recommendations

 

94

   

References

 

95

4

 

ENSURING HIGH STANDARDS

 

97

   

Defining the Principles of Quality Assurance

 

98

   

Potential Methods for Ensuring Quality

 

99

   

Quality Assurance in Related Fields

 

101

   

Initial Efforts Toward Establishing Standards in Forensic DNA Typing

 

102

   

A Regulatory Program for DNA Typing

 

104

   

Summary of Recommendations

 

108

   

References

 

109

5

 

FORENSIC DNA DATABANKS AND PRIVACY OF INFORMATION

 

111

   

Comparison of DNA Profiles and Latent Fingerprints

 

111

   

Confidentiality and Security

 

113

   

Methodological Standardization

 

116

   

Cost Versus Benefit

 

117

   

Whose Samples Should Be Included?

 

118

   

Sample Storage

 

122

   

Information To Be Included and Maintained in a Databank

 

122

   

Rules on Accessibility

 

123

   

Statistical Interpretation of Databank Matches

 

124

   

Status of Databank Development

 

124

   

Model Cooperative Information Resource

 

126

   

Summary of Recommendations

 

128

   

References

 

129

6

 

USE OF DNA INFORMATION IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM

 

131

   

Admissibility

 

132

   

DNA Databanks on Convicted Felons: Legal Aspects

 

142

   

Assessing the Admissibility of Evidence Based on Results of Further Advances in DNA Technology

 

143

   

Suggestions For Use of DNA Evidence

 

145

   

DNA Evidence and the Various Parties in the Legal System

 

146

   

Testing Laboratories

 

148

   

Protective Orders

 

148

   

Availability and Cost of Experts

 

148

   

Summary of Recommendations

 

149

   

References

 

150

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DNA Technology in Forensic Science Get This Book
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Matching DNA samples from crime scenes and suspects is rapidly becoming a key source of evidence for use in our justice system. DNA Technology in Forensic Science offers recommendations for resolving crucial questions that are emerging as DNA typing becomes more widespread.

The volume addreses key issues:

  • Quality and reliability in DNA typing, including the introduction of new technologies, problems of standardization, and approaches to certification.
  • DNA typing in the courtroom, including issues of population genetics, levels of understanding among judges and juries, and admissibility.
  • Societal issues, such as privacy of DNA data, storage of samples and data, and the rights of defendants to quality testing technology.

Combining this original volume with the new update--The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence--provides the complete, up-to-date picture of this highly important and visible topic.

This volume offers important guidance to anyone working with this emerging law enforcement tool: policymakers, specialists in criminal law, forensic scientists, geneticists, researchers, faculty, and students.

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