The objective of this study was to describe the views and needs of these professionals surrounding the use of statistical models and sequence data for forensic purposes.
In this paper, the authors describe perceptions of sixteen U.S.-based forensic scientists on statistical models, sequence data, and ethical implications for DNA evidence evaluations. To get an in-depth understanding of the current situation, the authors used a qualitative research approach with a cross-sectional study design. They conducted semi-structured interviews with U.S. forensic scientists working with DNA evidence. The authors used open-ended interview questions to explore participants’ views and needs surrounding the use of statistical models and sequence data for forensic purposes. They conducted a conventional content analysis using ATLAS. ti software and employed a second coder to ensure reliability of our results. The paper discusses 11 themes that emerged regarding statistical model preferences, risk reduction, the need for continued education and professional development, data results presentation, professional ethics, and more. The results of this study give insight into the perceptions of forensic scientists regarding the use of statistical models and sequence data, providing valuable information in the move towards implementing sequencing methods for DNA evidence evaluations. Publisher Abstract Provided