University of Washington School of Public Health

FORENSIC GENETICS BIOST 302 A / PHG 302 ( I&S / NW, QSR )

11/14/2017
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  • WIN 2018 3 credits SLN 19023 M/W 9:30- 10:50 SOCC 303
  • Prerequisites: Minimum prerequisites or consent from instructor.
  • Instructor: Bruce Weir bsweir@uw.edu, Professor of Biostatistics, and Director of the Institute for Public Health Genetics.
  • 10 Cases to be discussed in the Winter of 2018
  • Please contact phginfo@uw.edu with questions

This course uses actual cases to introduce the field of forensic genetics. Students develop the skills to interpret the evidence of matching genetic profiles; to perform calculations relevant for parentage determination; the identification of remains; and to consider the implications of familial searching of DNA databases.

Cases to be discussed:

  • 1988. R v. Colin Pitchfork (“The Blooding”) Rape and murder. First conviction based on DNA evidence.
  • 1989. People of the State of New York v. Joseph Castro. Double Murder.
  • 1989. People of the State of New York v. Joseph Castro. Double Murder.
  • 1995. People of the State of California v. O.J. Simpson. Double Murder. Football star acquitted in trial that included  DNA evidence.
  • 1996. R v. Douglas Beamish. Murder. Conviction based on DNA from cat hair.
  • 2008. People of the State of California v. Dennis Nelson. Murder.
  • 2009. McDaniel v. Troy Brown. Rape, Attempted Murder.
  • 2009. Tsar Nicholas and Family. Multiple Murder. Second grave found in 2007 contained bones of Prince Alexei and Princess Anastasia.
  • 2009-15. The Italian People v. Amanda Knox. Murder. Conviction, based in part on DNA evidence, then acquittal for UW student.
  • 2016. People of the State of California v. Lonnie Franklin (“Grim Sleeper”). 10 Murders.