DNA analysis has revolutionised forensic science; helping to catch prolific murderers and shining a light on miscarriages of justice that have seen innocent people wrongfully convicted of serious crimes. Such is the power of DNA to identify, convict, and exonerate, that many perceive it to be infallible. Yet DNA evidence has a number of limitations and the costs of not being aware of these can be huge.
As a forensic geneticist of 35 years standing, I have been very closely involved with every stage of the development of DNA profiling since its discovery in 1985. Yet over recent years, I have become particularly concerned with standards of practice and the court statements written by some forensic scientists.
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