In 2005, Barlow heard that an Arizona state employee named Kathryn Troyer had run a series of tests on the state’s DNA database, which at the time included 65,000 profiles, and found multiple people with nine or more identical markers. If you believe the FBI’s rarity statistics, this was all but impossible—the chances of any two people in the general population sharing that many markers was supposed to be about one in 750 million, while the Database Match Probability for a nine-marker match in a system the size of Arizona’s is roughly one in 11,000.
Barlow decided to subpoena Troyer’s searches. To her surprise, she discovered that Troyer had unearthed not just a couple of pairs who shared nine identical markers, but 122. "That was a ‘wow’ moment," Barlow recalls.
A court found the fingerprint retrieved from a bag of explosives left at the scene, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had “100% verified” as belonging to Mr Mayfield, to be only a partial match—and then not for the finger in question. […] But in its rush to judgment, the FBI did more than anything, before or since, to discredit the use of fingerprints as a reliable means of identification.
« Older High court hangups and There's no place like a hot... | Work piling up? Debt accruing?... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt