DNA Profiling: Probabilities and Proof

  • Hans Zeisel
  • David Kaye
Part of the Statistics for Social Science and Public Policy book series (SSBS)


Throughout this book, we have provided illustrations of the methods of collecting and analyzing data of legal interest with the tools of social science and statistics. This chapter examines the use of probability and statistics in forensic science — a discipline that draws primarily on laboratory science to provide courtroom evidence.1 In particular, we describe the problems in establishing to the satisfaction of the courts that a specific type of DNA profiling is a scientifically valid and reliable method for identifying individuals.2 Then, we examine some of the difficulties that can arise in presenting the results of DNA profiling in court.


Match Probability Variable Number Tandem Repeat Expert Testimony Mock Juror Profile Frequency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (David Faigman, D.H. Kaye, Michael Saks, & Joseph Sanders, eds., 1997)Google Scholar
  2. D.H. Kaye, Science in Evidence (1997)Google Scholar
  3. D.H. Kaye, DNA Evidence: Probability, Population Genetics, and the Courts, 7 Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 101 (1993)Google Scholar
  4. National Research Council Committee on DNA Typing in Forensic Science: An Update, The Evaluation of Forensic DNA Evidence (1996)Google Scholar
  5. National Research Council Conunittee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science, DNA Technology in Forensic Science (1992)Google Scholar
  6. Kathryn Roeder, DNA Fingerprinting: A Review of the Controversy, 9 Statistical Science 222 (1994) (with commentary)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Zeisel
  • David Kaye
    • 1
  1. 1.College of LawArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Personalised recommendations