Feeds

Aussie cops reopen 7,000 DNA convictions

Melbourne police admit errors

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Melbourne Police have withdrawn charges against a suspected double murderer, after they admitted that DNA evidence was wrong.

A further 7,000 cases will now be re-examined - every conviction secured in Victoria using DNA in the last 20 years.

Russell John Gesah was accused of a double murder and rape in 1984. Samples taken from the original crime scene apparently were subjected to a cold case review, and matched Gesah's profile on the national DNA database.

But a double check just before the trial revealed no such match. It emerged that the lab which checked evidence from the crime scene also tested material from Gesah on the same day, creating a risk of contamination.

Melbourne lawyer Robert Richter QC told the Australian that programmes like CSI give juries the wrong impression of the infallibility of DNA evidence. He said DNA evidence was a “very useful tool, but there are always problems with it associated with the way it's administered”.

He went on: “The reliability of a match produced under acceptable circumstances is no longer open to question, it's precisely what constitutes acceptable circumstances which may give rise to issues such as we've seen.”

Police apologised to Gesah and the family of the murder victims and said they were looking to improve their procedures. Some 500 cases have already been checked again and no problems found. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.