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Chapter 1.2

Summary 1.2.c – Jordy Steltman


Summaries of the reading materials [descriptive & wrt aim]

1.2.c Kaye & Sensabaugh (DNA Identification evidence) [Manuals]

Nowadays DNA identification is an important tool of evidence in court. According to D.H. Kaye and G. Sensabaugh the courts should examine in passing on the admissibility of novel DNA evidence. They argue that some understanding of and appreciation for the nature, structure and process of scientific reasoning in general and of the special characteristics of forensic science in particular are necessary to evaluate the scientific quality of the evidence.1

If you are convicted, it often happens that you have to give DNA. Your DNA-profile will be included in a database. Normally this is an order from the prosecutor. There is a possibility to appeal the court for including your DNA-profile in the database. But this is only possible after you have given your DNA. So, this is the fact: ‘You must give DNA before you may object’.2 It has to be objected that DNA identification is an important tool of evidence in court, but it must not violate ethical principles. This principle is a violation of privacy of every person, convicted or not, is an argument which is used a lot. Ofcourse convicted persons are supposed to participate in the process. But if DNA release does not contribute to the current process, it can be seen as a violation of privacy. Besides this, an additional argument is the uncertaintly and the risk of erroneous identification of persons for being guilty if the DNA database is increases. The fact that the full DNA prfile is extremely rare, after all, it does not mean that is unique. There could be alternative explanations for DNA matching, such as (guilty) blood relatives of the suspect, errors in the research or just another person with an almost similar DNA-profile. On the other hand, DNA-profiles are quite often used to prove someone is not guilty. But the said arguments may also apply the other way. Which means that someone who actually is guilty, is acquitted by usage of DNA identification as possible evidence.

Concluded, there are a lot of considerations for the usage of DNA identification as evidence in the criminal process. Therefore, it is recommended that DNA identivication are cautious used as evidence in criminal cases.


  1. Kaya DH, Sensabaugh G. Non-Human DNA Evidence, 38 Jurimetrics J. 1-16 (1998).
  2. Walter Römelingh van Haagrechten Advocaten. DNA Bezwaarschrift. Available at:

1.2.d summary Kaye and Freedman (211-302)

  Introduction This reference guide describes the elements of statistical reasoning. Admissibility and Weight Statistical studies will generally be admissible under the Federal Rule of Statistics. Sometimes a study may not fit, however, often the battle over evidence concerns weight or sufficiency. Varieties and Limits of Statistical Expertise Statistics has three subfields: probability theory, theoretical […] Continue reading →

Summary [1.2b]

Berger described the Dauber trilogy and its impact to eventually demonstrate issues that judges encounter and have to resolve. Determining whether scientific evidence is admissible federal circuits refer to the dauber decision Goodstein described that the  role of scientific proof has been the subject of discussion. More precisely, judges these days have to decide whether […] Continue reading →

Summary 1.2j

Summary of ‘Evolutionary dynamics of cooperation’ The writer explains five basic principles for the evolution of cooperation. For cooperation a donor must pay a cost, c, for a recipient to get a benefit, b. The first described mechanism is kin selection. It is assumed a donor will be more willing to act altruistic for relatives […] Continue reading →

Summary 1.1d en summary 1.2h

(1.1d)Summary of The “conclusie AG Fokkens eerste cassatie” t/m overweging 82: It starts with the initial charge against Lucia de B, which is that she had deliberately taken multiple lives and had attempted to take multiple lives in the Juliana Children’s hospital. The charge was filed when one of the other nurses noticed that children […] Continue reading →

Summary 2f: Reference guide on Engineering

What is engineering? Engineering is not just applied science. In engineering, some methods that are used by scientists are used by engineers as well. But in general, engineering is the designing and building of a product. This product is intended to solve a (societal) problem. In order to design and build the solution, the engineer […] Continue reading →

Book contributions: 1.1.c & 1.2.i

Lucia’s case summary Victim 4, a comatose young boy, was diagnosed to be in a ‘stable yet unfavourable’ condition on the day of his death. The defense stated that there were many possible medically explainable causes of death, but because the boy didn’t experience any pathological symptoms, these weren’t investigated. The cause of death remained […] Continue reading →

Intro to USA Legal System (for Law students)

The USA legal system has two domains: the federal domain (single) and the state domain (with all 50 states, plus the federal district [of Columbia or D.C.]). Both federal and (each) state domains have a constitution, legislation and administrative regulations. The constitutions describe (and limit) the powers of the government, and the ways the bodies […] Continue reading →