Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Mitochondrial DNA Evidence Admissible in Peterson Trial

Before binding Scott Peterson over for trial, the judge in the Laci Peterson murder trial finally ruled today that the prosecution's mitochondrial DNA evidence was admissible. The testimony matched a strand of hair found on the Petersons' boat to Laci Peterson's DNA, but also to the DNA of 1 out of every 112 Caucasians. Here's the LA Times story.
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.