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From the PublisherProfessor Peter Gill’s book, Misleading DNA evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice has international significance and could not be more timely. In the United States and across the much of the globe, there is a lingering perception that the thousands of miscarriages of justice that reach the media are usually relics from a bygone era where the forensic tools were rudimentary. It is widely assumed that the new PCR-based DNA testing systems in use today dramatically reduce or eliminate the chances of wrongful convictions. Dr. Gill explodes this myth with keen, compelling and original insights. He focuses his analysis on deeply disturbing issues that he reveals at nexus between science and the criminal justice system. This book is a must read for prosecutors, defense attorneys, academics and anyone interested in ensuring that justice is done. Indeed, it will benefit anyone who is concerned that the aura of infallibility commonly associated with DNA and associated statistics can (and has) impaired criminal investigations and related proceedings. Dr. Gill correctly warns us that the DNA aura carries with it the potential to blind, distort or mislead the way fact finders perceive information. None of us should be indifferent to the risk of misleading the finders of fact, whose search for the truth is the cornerstone of justice.—Stephen Patrick Hogan, M.A. J.D.
In reading Professor Peter Gill’s Misleading DNA Evidence, the importance of context in the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of DNA evidence is comprehensively illustrated. Professor Gill, through both his able and thorough instruction on the intricacies of DNA analyses and his use of real-world examples exposes the many ways that the use of DNA evidence can go tragically wrong. He skillfully exposes the host of biases and fallacies we too often fail to recognize. Professor Gill’s many insightful recommendations for how we can make better use of DNA evidence makes Misleading DNA Evidence an invaluable reference that, if followed, will help us avoid the miscarriages of justices it describes. Everyone involved in the criminal justice system — judges, attorneys, police, and scientists — should be mindful of the dangers that await us when we fail to recognize the importance of context when dealing with DNA evidence.—Stephen F. Swinton, Jr., M.A., J.D.Town Justice, Niskayuna, New York