Forensic scientists have used genetic material (DNA) as evidence in criminal cases such as rape and murder since the middle of the last decade. The forensic scientist's interpretation of the evidence, however, has been subject to some criticism, especially when it involves statistical issues (including relevant areas of population genetics in the realm of statistics). These issues include the appropriate method of summarizing data subject to measurement error, independence of events in a DNA pattern or profile; characterization of heterogeneity of populations; appropriate sampling methods to develop reference databases; and probabilistic evaluation of evidence under uncertainty of appropriate reference database. I review these issues, with the goal of making them accessible to the statistical community. My thesis in this article is that, for most cases, the tremendous genetic variability among individuals obviates concern arising from minor violations of modeling assumptions.
"DNA Fingerprinting: A Review of the Controversy." Statist. Sci. 9 (2) 222 - 247, May, 1994. https://doi.org/10.1214/ss/1177010488