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Professor Kaye discusses implications of DNA evidence ruling by SCOTUS


After attending the oral arguments in Maryland v. King, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with DNA evidence, Penn State Law Professor and preeminent expert on DNA and statistical evidence David Kaye predicted that the lower court ruling would be overturned. Professor Kaye talks briefly about the outcome of the case, why he would have focused on different issues than the majority, and what issues unresolved by this ruling are likely to come before the Supreme Court.

Professor Kaye is the main author of an amicus brief in the case which focuses on whether the Fourth Amendment bars Maryland from gathering DNA samples from individuals arrested for certain felonies. The case was argued on February 26. The brief is on behalf of ten scientists who study the nature and transmission of genetic information. In filing the brief, the group did not choose sides in the case but sought "to inform the Court of the possible medical and social significance of the DNA stored in law enforcement databases." 

Professor Kaye's research and teaching focus on the law of evidence, the use of science and statistics in litigation, and forensic science and criminal justice. His latest book is The Double Helix and the Law of Evidence published by Harvard University Press.

The final opinions are available online. Professor Kaye also covers the issue in his blog.

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