Inquiry Into Forensic DNA Processing Shows "Usable" Profiles Were Omitted
Samples omitted from criminal cases
A recent inquiry has found that DNA evidence may have been overlooked during criminal investigations in Queensland.
According to the inquiry, DNA evidence with “usable” profiles from sexual assault investigations have been omitted on several occasions due to “insufficient” samples.
Headed by former judge Walter Sofronoff, the inquiry is looking into the 2018 decision to stop testing samples which contain minute samples of DNA.
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Forensic scientist Alicia Auartermain told the inquiry on Monday that a number of “insufficient” samples were processed and returned DNA profiles.
“Some of these samples … had got some good, usable DNA profiles,” she said.
“So, to say that we’re calling these samples insufficient for further processing, it’s not correct.”
Quartermain was asked by assisting counsel Laura Reece if she believed that failing to process DNA had impacted criminal cases.
“Yes,” she said.
Quartermain said that all potential DNA samples should be processed to ascertain whether any usable DNA is available.
“It can always be processed further,” she said.
“Whether or not we get a usable DNA profile at the end of it is the question, but we could always do more with those samples.”
The inquiry is ongoing with a full report to be delivered in December.
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