Two techniques for analyzing DNA evidence that were once considered cutting edge are now under fire amid questions about their reliability, and criminal defense attorneys in New York have asked a state agency to investigate the renowned lab that once used both methods.
The New York City medical examiner’s lab developed one of the techniques and became a leader in sophisticated DNA examinations partly because of its work identifying the remains of 9/11 victims.
Both techniques have been phased out in favor of new technology. But the lab says it’s used its forensic statistical tool developed in-house in 1,350 cases over the past six years and used what’s called low copy number analysis in about 3,450 cases over the past 11 years. Once New York was the