People v. Pike
Illinois Appellate Court
104 So. 3d 97 (La. App. 1st Cir. 2012)
Rashon Pike (defendant) was charged with armed robbery by firearm. Two victims identified Pike as being involved in the robbery. At trial, the State of Illinois (plaintiff) presented testimony from forensic scientist Lisa Fallara about DNA testing conducted on swab samples from a handgun connected to the robbery. Fallara analyzed the samples using Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) analysis, which looks at locations on the male Y chromosome. Fallara explained that Y-STR testing is generally accepted by the scientific community and that it is a way to obtain a DNA profile from a swab sample with a small amount of DNA. Fallara testified that she found a mix of two males’ DNA on the swabs from the handgun. When she compared the DNA profile from the swabs to Pike’s DNA profile, she could not exclude Pike as a contributor to the DNA mixture. However, Fallara could not identify him specifically as the contributor. She calculated that the DNA profile from the swabs was consistent with one in every two Black males, Caucasian males, and Hispanic males. Fallara explained that, in other words, this meant that 50 percent of the population could have contributed to the mixed DNA profile in the sample, and Pike was a member of that group. The jury ultimately convicted Pike, and he appealed to the Illinois Court of Appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pucinski, J.)
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