Feeds

Aussie cops reopen 7,000 DNA convictions

Melbourne police admit errors

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Melbourne Police have withdrawn charges against a suspected double murderer, after they admitted that DNA evidence was wrong.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

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.