Sunday, March 19, 2006

Want to Learn about Forensic DNA?

At the Innocence Project conference (here at the UW), I heard a talk by Dr. Greg Hampikian (Boise State) on the basics of DNA as it is used criminal investigations. Dr. Hampikian has a web page with a range of Forensic DNA links.

He recommended the Department of Justice's training modules (one beginning level, one advanced), What Every Law Enforcement Officer Should Know about DNA Evidence: Best Practices for Identification, Preservation, and Collection of DNA Evidence at the Crime Scene. The modules include interactive components -- e.g., a scene where you are the responding officer interviewing a rape victim and must make decisions about the investigation.

By the way, Dr. Hampikian says that he welcomes any "CSI Effect." A frequent expert witness, he finds that juries are much easier to educate about DNA than they used to be.

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