Authored by: Bruce S. Weir

Handbook of Forensic Statistics

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138295407
eBook ISBN: 9780367527709
Adobe ISBN:


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DNA profiling of biological material has had an enormous impact on forensic science because of its potential role in associating an individual with a crime. As two examples, the biological material may be taken from the clothing or body of a victim and found to have the same profile as that of a person suspected of assaulting the victim, or it may be from a stain in a vehicle and found to have the same profile as that of a missing person thought to have been abducted by the owner of the vehicle. Such direct matches between an evidence sample and a individual, however, are by no means the only use for DNA profiles; because they are genetic they have been shaped by evolutionary processes and they may contain information about both distant ancestry and recent family membership of the profiled people. Most recently, for example, the use of genealogical databases has provided leads in long-cold cases such as that of the “Golden State Killer” (Phillips, 2018).

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