The Double Helix and the Law of Evidence

David H. Kaye

Penn State Law

January 1, 2010

Penn State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 9-2010

This book chronicles the discoveries that led to modern DNA evidence and analyzes how courts in the United States came to accept this evidence in criminal cases. It shows how the adversary system exacerbated divisions among scientists, how lawyers and experts obfuscated some issues and clarified others, how probability and statistics were manipulated and misunderstood, and how the need to convince lay judges influenced the scientific research. It uses probability theory to clarify legal concepts of relevance and probative value as they apply to DNA and other forensic-science evidence, and it reflects on the lessons DNA evidence holds for forensic science and the legal system.

Keywords: DNA, evidence, probability, likelihood, forensic science

Accepted Paper Series

Not Available For Download

Date posted: November 19, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Kaye, David H., The Double Helix and the Law of Evidence (January 1, 2010). Penn State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 9-2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1564867

Contact Information

David H. Kaye (Contact Author)
Penn State Law ( email )
Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States
814 865-8974 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://law.psu.edu/faculty/resident_faculty/kaye
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