Evidential value of DNA mixtures is typically expressed by a likelihood ratio. However, selecting appropriate propositions can be contentious, because assumptions may need to be made around, for example, the contribution of a complainant's profile, or relatedness between contributors. A choice made one way or another disregards any uncertainty that may be present about such an assumption. To address this, a complex proposition that considers multiple sub-propositions with different assumptions may be more appropriate. While the use of complex propositions has been advocated in the literature, the uptake in casework has been limited. We provide a mathematical framework for evaluating DNA evidence given complex propositions and discuss its implementation in the DBLR™ software. The software simultaneously handles multiple mixed samples, reference profiles and relationships as described by a pedigree, which unlocks a variety of applications. We provide several examples to illustrate how complex propositions can efficiently evaluate DNA evidence. The addition of this feature to DBLR™ provides a tool to approach the long-accepted, but often impractical suggestion that propositions should be exhaustive within a case context.
- Forensic DNA
- Probabilistic genotyping