Hazards of DNA profiling Laws

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DNA evidence can go terribly wrong: lawyer in Malaysiakini by Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | Sep 3, 08

A lawyer who has successfully argued against the seemingly incontrovertible findings of DNA evidence in one court case said it is “unthinkable” for the government to treat such evidence as irrefutable and absolute.

puravalen pc on missing pi balasubramaniam 180708 m puravalenM Puravelan (right), who represented G Sara Lily, had in 2006 successfully fought for the court to recognise a body that had been kept for two years at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre mortuary was that of her deceased son, Francis Udayappan.

Despite a testimony by a DNA expert to the contrary, the presiding magistrate Nazran Mohd Sham said the clothes, height, gender, relevant period of death and discovery of the body meant there were “reasonable grounds to suspect” that the deceased was indeed Sara Lily’s son Francis.

Puravelan said the government failed to learn from that episode judging by its attempt to bulldoze the DNA Identification Bill 2008 through without placing legal safeguards to prevent or correct deliberate and accidental errors of scientific evidence.  

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Let’s do a CSI

By DR MILTON LUM

Forensic medicine is the branch of medicine concerned with the resolution of legal issues by the application of scientific medical knowledge. An important development in forensic medicine is genetic analysis, ie DNA profiling.

THE concept of “DNA fingerprinting” was introduced in 1985 as a method in the evaluation of human identification and relatedness. The forensic applications of DNA evidence were rapidly appreciated and are now often used in criminal investigations, for example, murder and sexual assaults like rape.

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