Disputed DNA analysis software’s code open for inspection after court order


If you’re going to convict or acquit based on evidence provided by a piece of software, you’d better be damn sure that software is reliable. One such program, a DNA analysis tool used in more than a thousand cases, has been called unreliable by critics — and a federal judge has just ordered that its code be opened for all to see so we can find out one way or the other.

The Forensic Statistical Tool was first put into use in 2011 in New York City’s Medical Examiner’s Office, and was used frequently to link trace amounts of DNA to suspects or persons of interest for the succeeding five years. It’s no longer in use, having been superseded by new software in 2016.

Obviously DNA analysis is an invaluable forensic tool, but some criminal defense experts began to be concerned…

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