Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting

Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting

by Michael Lynch, Simon A. Cole, Ruth McNally, Kathleen Jordan
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226498069

ISBN-13: 9780226498065

Pub. Date: 12/01/2008

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

"DNA profiling - commonly known as DNA fingerprinting - is often heralded as unassailable criminal evidence, a veritable "truth machine" that can overturn convictions based on eyewitness testimony, confessions, and other forms of forensic evidence. But DNA evidence is far from infallible. It is subject to the same possibilities for error - in sample collection,…  See more details below

Overview

"DNA profiling - commonly known as DNA fingerprinting - is often heralded as unassailable criminal evidence, a veritable "truth machine" that can overturn convictions based on eyewitness testimony, confessions, and other forms of forensic evidence. But DNA evidence is far from infallible. It is subject to the same possibilities for error - in sample collection, forensic analysis, and clerical record keeping - as any other procedure in criminal justice practice." Truth Machine traces the controversial history of DNA fingerprinting by looking at court cases in the United States and United Kingdom beginning in the mid-1980s, when the practice was invented, and continuing until the present. Using interviews, observations of courtroom trials and laboratory processes, and documentary reconstruction, the authors provide a nuanced, theoretically sophisticated, and original ethnographic account of DNA fingerprinting and its evolution.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226498065
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents


Ch. 1 A Revolution in Forensic Science? 1 Interlude A DNA Profiling Techniques 24 Ch. 2 A Techno-Legal Controversy 39 Interlude B Admissibility, Controversy, and Judicial Metascience 69 Ch. 3 Molecular Biology and the Dispersion of Technique 83 Ch. 4 Chains of Custody and Administrative Objectivity 113 Interlude C The U.K. National DNA Database 142 Ch. 5 Deconstructing Probability in the Case R. v. Deen 155 Interlude D Bayesians, Frequentists, and the DNA Database Search Controversy 183 Ch. 6 Science, Common Sense, and DNA Evidence 190 Ch. 7 Fixing Controversy, Performing Closure 220 Ch. 8 Postclosure 256 Interlude E Fingerprinting and Probability 293 Ch. 9 Fingerprinting: An Inversion of Credibility 302 Ch. 10 Finality? 335 Cases 347 References 349 Index 379

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