Manon Seid wrote:MSc Biology
Leah is right - to get an accurate outcome you need multiple tests. Sample size can easily be too small or too contaminated to get a definitive answer.
Made a DNA test on a blood sample from a mouse once... Its DNA turned out to be human with a striking resemblance to mine.
Glaucon wrote:@ Leah: I am not saying that what you claim is nonsense, and I won't claim to be an expert, but... while it might be true that you need a sample of a certain size to reliably check for DNA, I'd think that that 'reliability' would be about the chances of finding it, and finding a match. So, the smaller the sample, the greater the chance you won't. You won't become MORE likely to find and be able to analyze the DNA in sufficient detail to get a match, if the sample is small. So, if they were lucky enough to find a match of a certain probability (high) even with a sample so small that find that match became less certain, that doesn't detract from the value of that evidence, I'd say.
The ability to retest seems like a more serious problem, to me. I believe that there was one bit of evidence on which they found DNA, the first time, but which another lab could not find anything on, when they tested it again. (Not sure which). That might have been due to the small size, with everything that was there already used up for the first round of tests.
The paper bag thing... I can't judge how bad that is. But again... while it may not be good for the evidence (or not after a while, apparently), it would only work AGAINST the prosecution, right? By, potentially, making the DNA evidence harder to find because the DNA material had deteriorated? How does that really lessen the weight of the DNA evidence, if the 'violation of protocol' wasn't enough to destroy the DNA, in spite of them being 'shoddy' about it?
The only thing that I saw from these complaints about shoddy investigative work was the fact that the people collecting evidence at the scene often didn't change gloves as often as they were supposed to. So, in theory, there was the risk of one investigator touching something with a trace of DNA from Knox, Sollecito or Guede and then picking up some other bit of evidence and smearing the DNA from the first thing onto the object they picked up.
But then again, these investigators had, I believe, not been in contact with Knox and Sollecito, prior to their investigation, and they were collecting evidence in the room with the murdered girl, not in the room of Knox. So, where and how would any DNA from Sollecito get on their fingers, if Sollecito wasn't there?
I am no expert, and I am willing to admit that there may be reasonable doubts about the validity of the DNA evidence. But, like I have said before, we didn't always have all this CSI stuff. Before DNA evidence was used in criminal courts, people still got convicted.
And the other evidence seems like it would have been more than sufficient to prove that the pair was involved. We have one of them that lived there confessing she was at the scene during the crime, initially, later denying it, coming up with an alibi that turned out to be false, not able to explain her whereabouts and demonstratively telling lies, calling her mother out of the blue in the middle of the night (not having called her once in the months prior), falsely accusing someone else, sinc-switching off her phone with one of the other suspects and switching it on at the same time as well (something she never did), being seen in places where she could not have been according to her own story, changing her story several times. We have another doing something similar, coming up with a false alibi, not supporting her alibi initially. We have very clear evidence of a staged break-in through the window and no sign of a break-in through the other possible entrances. We have an object from the (supposedly locked) room of one of the suspects showing up in the room of the murder (the lamp). And we have Knox accusing Patrick Lumumba when she was first interviewed. As a witness, not as a suspect (the Italian police brought Lumumba in as their first suspect based on the accusations by Knox, so, clearly, they believed her and she could not have felt 'pressured' to make false statements at the time - unless there was something she desperately wanted to hide).
We have means (two knifes) and opportunity (Amanda lived there, could have let the others in, and given the time left unaccounted for, because of the false alibi's, opportunity for the crime and the attempt to stage a break-in). Do we have a motive?
Knox and Kercher had had a row over cleaning, recently, one witness claimed. Apparently, Knox was supposed to clean the bathroom, but kept skipping her turn, and Kercher nagged at her. They also had a row about the various boys Knox brought to the apartment. The day of the muder, Knox had been fired from her job at the bar she worked as (by the same man she went on accusing of the murder) because she was hitting on boys and flirting too much, who, apparently, was considering hiring Kercher for the job. And, possibly, another row about the rent for the apartment.
A great motive, that? Reason enough to kill someone? Hardly, for a sane person. For teaching them a lesson, perhaps? Maybe. For not intervening when the guy (Guede) your boyfriend (Sollecito) called over to buy pot of gets aggressive with her, after she starts making a scene over all these strangers and drifters in the apartment, the drugs, the rent or whatever, threatens to call the cops or whatever? Sounds more likely.
I have no idea what happened, exactly, in that apartment, that night, but I think complicity in the murder is proven, even without considering the DNA evidence. She was involved.
Leah wrote:It's actually very important for the integrity of DNA evidence that items be placed in plastic bags, not paper ones.
One of the two experts, Stefano Conti, cited dozens of cases of forensic police entering the crime scene or coming into contacts with objects there not wearing protective equipment such as masks or hair caps. He said that while evidence should be wrapped in paper or kept in a paper bags, police often used plastic bags, heightening the risk of contamination.
Danika Stenvaag wrote:What I was saying was DNA evidence collected at a crime scene by investigators is normally put into paper bags or envelopes, not plastic. Plastic bags retain moisture, which can damage DNA. Direct sunlight and warmer conditions can also damage DNA. That's why paper should be used at the crime scene.
Leah blasted me and presented herself as a forensic expert.
I did a random google search and found all kinds of articles that back up what I'm saying. Here's one for example:
Part of that article said this:One of the two experts, Stefano Conti, cited dozens of cases of forensic police entering the crime scene or coming into contacts with objects there not wearing protective equipment such as masks or hair caps. He said that while evidence should be wrapped in paper or kept in a paper bags, police often used plastic bags, heightening the risk of contamination.
So the experts are saying the opposite of what Leah said, they used plastic when they should have used paper bags.
DNA molecules are contained in all cells and it doesn't take much more than a few cells to identify a suspect.
I'm not saying the evidence wasn't tainted. Maybe they used dirty gloves at the scene. And I'm not talking about what went on during analysis of the evidence.
Leah went on a tirade and of course I'm blonde and stupid.
As for Amanda Knox, she's intelligent, she's a cool customer, and watching her talk, all my female instincts also tell me she's lying about something. I admit, it's harder to tell when someone has sociopathic tendencies, but I usually can still tell. Hanging out with my friends, I usually know when someone is holding back or telling a lie and I find out later I was right about my feelings. I can't say it's scientific, but the OP is about opinion, innocent or guilty... I'm not saying Amanda Knox did any killing. I'm saying she's holding something back, hiding something, covering up. I know it. She's caught up in this.
DarbyDollinger wrote:I'd generally be wary of the legal system of a country that elected Silvio Berlusconi.
Leah wrote:DarbyDollinger wrote:I'd generally be wary of the legal system of a country that elected Silvio Berlusconi.
Or a legal system that prosecutes and convicts scientists for, I shit you not, failing to adequately predict an earthquake.
They were convicted of manslaughter.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... ist-trial/
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