Sunday, July 28, 2013
Dangers of “Cold-Hit” DNA Cases
Osagie K. Obasogie (UC Hastings) has a powerful piece in the New York Times highlighting, among other things, a fascinating example of mistaken DNA identification. Available here
It appears that paramedics inadvertently transferred DNA from a severely intoxicated patient they encoutered on one call to a homicide victim they tried to resuscitate on another. Based on the subsequent DNA hit, prosecutors charged the drunk guy with murder. (The charges were dropped after five months.) As Prof. Obasogie notes, the case might have taken an even more tragic path if the intoxicated patient did not have a well-documented alibi.
For local news coverage of the case including the “mystery about DNA in the case” see here