Forensic Statistical Tool (FST): A Probabilistic Genotyping Software Program For Human Identification

Kyle B. Watters, Watters and Svetkey, Attorneys at Law, New York
Heather Miller Coyle, University of New Haven

UNH community can access the article here. Copyright American Bar Association Winter 2016.


The forensic statistical tool (FST) is an in-house forensic software package that was developed by Dr. Adele Mitchell and validated by a team of forensic analysts at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) Laboratory in New York City.1 This software and the data generated from it has recently come under question as part of a larger issue to obtain full disclosure to independently assess its use for interpreting complex DNA mixtures and appropriate likelihood ratio (LR) statistics in the criminal justice system.2 The purpose in developing this software was to take complex DNA mixture data from criminal casework and assess the likelihood that a given particular individual was included or excluded in the sample data along with a certain number of unknown potential contributors to the sample. This software uses predictive modeling based on a variety of settings chosen by the analyst at the time of software analysis and has the ability to show a correlation (inclusion) or no correlation (exclusion) numerically for a report. This article examines the test's scientific accuracy, the representativeness of the Reference Population Allele Frequency Database and the test's effectiveness for investigative leads.