Sep 16, 2019

States turn skeptical on jailhouse informants as DNA evidence exonerates dozens

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Some states are strengthening rules on the practice of using testimony from jailhouse informants in trials, after new DNA technology exonerated dozens of people wrongly convicted based on those informants' lies, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The credibility of jailhouse informants has always been considered suspect, since they may be motivated to reduce their own sentences by providing incriminating, but inaccurate information. Nearly a fifth of the 365 people exonerated by new DNA evidence nationwide were convicted partly based on lying informants, according to the Innocence Project.

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Genetic technology's double-edged sword

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As gene-altering technologies become more accessible, there's also a growing risk that they'll be dangerously misused or abused.

Why it matters: "You're talking about manipulating DNA to create a designer pathogen. That’s a terrorist threat," former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told me.

Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

Doctors struggle with the ethics of genetic testing for patients

DNA sequencing is producing vast amounts of data, but researchers and doctors often don't know what it means or what can be done about the information it reveals, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Providers and scientists are grappling with how much information to give patients who have had their genes scanned.

Go deeperArrowOct 7, 2019

Trump alleges without evidence whistleblower worked with "partisan operative"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Friday that the "so-called Whistleblower isn't a Whistleblower at all," alleging without evidence that the whistleblower obtained their "second-hand information" from a "leaker" or "partisan operative."

"Sounding more and more like the so-called Whistleblower isn't a Whistleblower at all. In addition, all second hand information that proved to be so inaccurate that there may not have even been somebody else, a leaker or spy, feeding it to him or her? A partisan operative?"
— President Trump on Twitter
Go deeperArrowSep 27, 2019