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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ind. Courts - "For the first time in an Indiana courtroom a different statistical formula for calculating the DNA in an evidence sample was used"

A story today reported by Ellie Bogue in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reports:

Although the Allen Superior Court jurors in the Freddie Alcantar murder trial may not have known it, for the first time in an Indiana courtroom a different statistical formula for calculating the DNA in an evidence sample was used. * * *

The 2P test allows samples of DNA that were previously judged as low-level data, to be used as a viable sample. Wednesday, Serafina Solamo, Indiana State Police crime lab forensic scientist, explained the test and the significance it has to the Alcantar trial. This meant of the three samples they originally tested, they could come up with only a high statistical probability of the suspect, Alcantar, in the kitchen counter sample and inconclusive data of another person, a high statistical probability of victim Jones, in the doorway sample and light switch sample, but, again, the minor contributor's DNA was statistically impossible to draw a conclusion on. By using the 2P statistical equation on all three of the samples they were able to find enough statistical data to draw the conclusion that Jones' DNA was also a contributor in the kitchen sample, and Alcantar was also a contributor in the doorway and on the light switch samples. This evidence would prove that Alcantar was not totally forthcoming about where he had said he had been in the Jones home on the night in question.

Starting last year, Indiana began using the new statistical equation. The results of the DNA samples using the 2P statistical equation differed from the results of those with the statistical equations that have been commonly used in Indiana courts since 1996. The DNA test is not new, but the use of the mathematical formula 2P in Indiana is, Linda McDonald, forensic scientist at the Indiana State Police Crime Lab in Fort Wayne told The News-Sentinel last spring.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 22, 2015 08:49 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts