2 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday,M 3
March 34, 1995
Continued from page 1
blood and hair taken on Dec. 27 and
consented only when Pressley called
several more law enforcement officers
to the Washtenaw County Jail where
Mitchell has been since his arrest.
"DNA is basically the blueprint of
all life," Dr. Stephen Milligan of the
State Police Crime Lab's DNA unit
said yesterday. "Ninety-nine percent
of our DNA is the same from person
to person. That 1 percent (which de-
termines traits like eye color) is what
we focus on."
Technicians use probes of DNA to
break the sample down into compa-
rable parts. The more probes or sec-
tions that are compared, the greater
the likelihood that a match is not due
to random chance.
DNA experts also testified that
they used the "ceiling principle,"
which was described as an "extremely
conservative" method of calculating
the odds of a match. In addition, the
DNA experts used an artificially im-
posed "95 percent confidence inter-
val" to work in the defendant's favor.
Regarding the rape and murder of
University employee Christine
Gailbreath on May 7, 1994, Milligan
said, "At this time there is a five-
probe match between known blood
samples of Ervin Mitchell and the
samples of vaginal swabs taken from
Milligan testified that there was a
six-probe match between DNA evi-
dence in a Sept. 28, 1992, rape occur-
ring in Eberwhite Woods on the city's
"I can't even comprehend that one
would ever see that by chance,"
Milligan said. "For a six-probe match
to Ervin Mitchell's known blood
sample, in the Caucasian population,
you would see it one time in 7.8 tril-
lion individuals. In the Black popula-
tion, it would be one in one trillion.
These are all estimates."
These estimates, however, could
prove troublesome for Mitchell.
Lankford attempted to discredit the
DNA experts' testimony by criticiz-
ing the small sample size of the gen-
eral population used to determine the
probability that a match is random.
The State Police Crime Lab com-
pared certain genetic markers and the
frequency with which they would
appear in any given population of
three different ethnic groups - Cau-
casian, Blacks and Hispanics. There
were 400 Caucasian individuals, 500
Black individuals and 300 Hispanic
individuals in the lab's sample group.
Dr. Julie Howenstein, also from
the lab's DNA unit, testified that there
was a five-probe match of semen evi-
dence from the Oct. 2, 1993 rape of a
University student and DNA found in
Mitchell's blood samples. She said
the chance that the semen came from
a person other than Mitchell was 1 in
In the National Science
Foundation's opinion, Milligan testi-
fied, that a 3-5 match probe is strong
evidence that the samples came from
the same source.
The DNA testimony concerned
Lankford so much that his objections
caused the judge to meet him and
Mackie in her chambers for more
than an hour. Lankford called none of
his own witnesses to the stand during
the three-day examination of nearly
22 prosecution witnesses. Lankford
during his cross-examination asked if
there was enough of the DNA evidence
left to conduct independent tests.
Mitchell's attorney also accused
the prosecution of withholding infor-
mation regarding the DNA analysis.
Thejudge dismissed such accusations.
"It is clear to me that the prosecu-
tion is not withholding anything from
the defense," Mattson said. "This is a
probable cause hearing. The court
feels there is an adequate basis to
continue its cross-examination."
Mattson decided yesterday to re-
convene the examination today at 9
a.m. to allow legal counsel to present
final arguments before ruling whether
Mitchell will be held over for trial.
& NATIONAL EPOR T
Clinton defends his economic record
ATLANTA - President Clinton, presiding at an economic conference in a
region where he is politically vulnerable, conceded yesterday that worker
discontent lurks beneath generally upbeat statistics.
But he defended his policies, his priorities and his presi-
dency, telling handpicked participants from 12 Southern
states, "There is a lot more room for hope than for doubt."
Speaking at Emory University, the alma mater of House
Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Clinton said he felt "a
responsibility to try to keep this economic recovery going."
The daylong conference was the first of four the White
House plans around the country.
Conferences, speeches and other appearances over the
next few months will take Clinton to crucial 1996 battle- Clinton
ground states: Georgia, Florida, California, Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan.
While publicly denying political motivations, White House aides and Demo-
cratic advisers said they hoped for a lot of mileage out of the exposure.
Late last night in Tallahassee, Fla., for instance, Clinton was expected to*
announce good economic news for the state: that the Pentagon would relocate its
Southern Command - now based in Panama - to Florida.
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suggests D.C. overhaul
WASHINGTON - A congres-
sional panel yesterday recommended
the strictest financial controls ever de-
vised for a U.S. city be imposed on the
District of Columbia, a step members
said was needed to rehabilitate the "tar-
nished" image of the nation's capital.
In a unanimous vote, the House
District subcommittee moved to create
a presidentially appointed board to re-
order the District's finances and re-
structure its government. The bill also
calls for a new chief financial officer
who Mayor Marion Barry acknowl-
edged would have more "responsibil-
ity" over the government than he does.
Quick follow-up votes in the House
and Senate are planned for the mea-
sure, and the board could begin issuing
directives on the city budget to the
mayor, D.C. Council and other local
officials by mid-June. The five-mem-
ber panel would assume authority over
city spending levels and borrowing
within a matter of weeks. The board
could extend into the next centgry.
President Clinton praised the legis-
lation as a rare example of bipartisan
cooperation needed to rescue a na-
Computer helps to find
breast cancer tumors
NEW ORLEANS - A newly de-
veloped computermay find as many as
half the breast cancer malignancies
doctors miss reading mammograms.
"It's like a second opinion," said
Dr. Maryellen Giger of the University
of Chicago, one of the developers. She
discussed the development yesterday
at an American Cancer Society confer-
The computer - called an intelli-
gent mammography workstation-has
been used to analyze more than 1,000
breast X-rays since November and will
be put into regular use on an experi-
mental basis at the University of Chi-
cago next month.
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Jritu#?P2Yc 0:30 P*i / ?:30 C
Yeltsin cancels tour;
health in question
MOSCOW - Russian President
Boris N. Yeltsin has abandoned his
cross-country journey to retreat to a
secluded state dacha, his advisers dis-
closed yesterday, scrapping what was
to have been a two-week tour of the
provinces aimed at getting in touch
with the people.
Yeltsin will remain at the walled,
heavily guarded compound outside the
southern city of Kislovodsk for the rest
of his spring vacation, the official Itar-
Tass news agency reported from the
spa region quoting "sources close to
The sudden change in plans - at
least the third departure from the an-
nounced schedule since the trip began
three days ago - stirred speculation
about Yeltsin's health, as he appeared
weak and disoriented Monday during
the one whistle-stop he went through
with, a short visit to the city of Ryazan.
But after the highly orchestrated
Ryazan visit, he left the train behind
and flew with his security entourage to
Yeltsin aide Sergei V. Svistunov
brushed off suggestions the change of
plans was anything more than the pre-
rogative of a busy man taking time off
"This does not mean he has rejected
the idea of meeting common people in
the street. He may do this later,"
3 killed in Gaza Strip
JERUSALEM-Two Israelis and
a Palestinian were killed yesterday in
what Israel said was a Palestinian at-
tack on an Israeli convoy escorting
Jewish settlers to the isolated settle-
ment of Netzarim in the Palestinian-
controlled Gaza Strip.
An armed Palestinian rammed his*
truck into ajeep carrying border police
and police near Netzarim, on a road
controlled by Israeli forces, Police
Minister Moshe Shahal said.
Shahal told the Knesset, Israel's
Parliament, that the Palestinian leaped
from his truck after the crash, then
opened fire on the convoy before he
was gunned down by an Israeli Army
officer and a settler.
A border policeman and another
police officer were killed; two others
were seriously injured, Shahal reported.
He said it was not known whether the
Israelis were killed by the impact, orby
the shooting that followed.
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- From Daily wire services
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