It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The results from a Pennsylvania company's TrueAllele DNA testing software have been used in roughly 200 criminal cases, from California to Florida, helping put murderers and rapists in prison.
Criminal defense lawyers, however, want to know whether it's junk science.
Defense attorneys have routinely asked, and have been denied, access to examine the software's 170,000 lines of source code in a bid to challenge the authenticity of its conclusions. The courts generally have agreed with Cybergenetics, the company behind TrueAllele, that an independent examination of the code is unwarranted, that the code is a proprietary trade secret, and disclosing it could destroy the company financially.
A new challenge, pending before the California Supreme Court, concerns some of the company's latest conclusions. The results are evidence in a cold-case murder, yet they differ astronomically from traditional DNA testing. The dispute comes as secret code is creeping into our everyday life in what is known as the Internet of Things. It's in everything, from airplanes to refrigerators, medical devices, and even elevators, light fixtures, and cars.
A private company called Sorenson Forensics, testing vaginal swabs from the victim, concluded that the frequency in the profile occurrence in the general population was one in approximately 10,000 for African Americans. The same sample, when examined by Cybergenetics at the company's Pittsburgh lab, concluded that the DNA match between the vaginal sperm sample and Chubbs is "1.62 quintillion times more probable than a coincidental match to an unrelated Black person," according to court records.
originally posted by: roadgravel
Proprietary software that now is being used, not for use in a company itself as in the early days of software, but publicly with the result having a huge impact in legal issues. A very big concern
Do we need sworn to 'secrecy reviewers' to check these application for negative impact on the public? Then wouldn't those people be a target for corruption? In the future a glitch may not just be an accounting error, but someone's freedom or life.
Coding errors (PDF) have been found to alter DNA likelihood ratios by a factor of 10, causing prosecutors in Australia to replace 24 expert witness statements in criminal cases.
When defense experts identified a bug in breathalyzer software, the Minnesota Supreme Court barred the affected test from evidence in all future trials.
originally posted by: Ghost147
Forensic sciences in general are in need of a massive reworking. So many old concepts that have been proven to be less accurate than claimed.
This invention is just terrifying. Not only is it a new concept, but no one is allowed to legally question its validity or put it through vigorous scientific tests? The justice system is so screwed up as it is, we don't need things like this - which are taken as absolute fact without question - to latch itself onto an already broken system
If the company wants to make sales, then the source code should be open for review.