This talk will consider the benefits for the courts of maximising the amount of information gained for a result before statistical modelling is carried out, using complex DNA results as an example. Some mixtures of DNA obtained from crime and questioned samples are either too complex or too partial to give meaningful likelihood ratios even with the wider range of calculation software now available. One current option of providing the expert’s qualitative opinion in place of a formal likelihood ratio, while sanctioned by the courts, has been controversial. The time and effort spent improving the amount and quality of DNA being analysed before attempting to carry out specialist DNA mixture calculations will be repaid by achieving a more discriminating likelihood ratio. The relevance of the samples to the evidential issues will also be discussed.
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