Many subsidiary questions may arise: would such a declaration infringe on the accused`s right to effective legal assistance because the defendants would not take the opportunity to reconsider his decision if it provided ammunition to the prosecution? Would such a declaration render the burden of proof inadmissible on the defendant? How important is it that the defense called witnesses on its behalf instead of simply cross-examining the prosecution expert? Would such a statement be unfair if the defendant were helpless and the case law did not provide the defendants with experts in genetic typing? ex parte (see 18 U.S.C. § 3006A (e)), this provision would in many cases prevent the prosecution from knowing a defendant`s plans. However, with DNA evidence, the prosecution will know that the defense wants to test again because the samples have to be delivered. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that the limitation on discovery should be interpreted as prohibiting the prosecution from engaging the defense expert (Contra State v McDaniel, 485 N.W.2d 630 [Iowa 1992]). DNA is often left at a crime scene. It is present in all kinds of evidence, including blood, hair, skin, saliva, and semen. Scientists can analyze the DNA in the evidence samples to see if it matches a suspect`s DNA. On the latter issue – the ability to distinguish sources – courts have required more convincing evidence of the exact degree of individualization achieved by DNA testing than by any other commonly used forensic technique. Some courts have found it necessary for experts to prove not only that DNA profiles usually vary from person to person, but also to provide undisputed quantitative estimates of the rarity of identifying characteristics within certain groups and subgroups. It is doubtful that many other forms of identifying evidence can withstand comparable requirements.2 Lawyers and jurists have debated whether DNA evidence warrants this special treatment.3 We do not take sides in such legal debates, but we emphasize that both issues – the scientific acceptance of the laboratory method for comparing samples and the idea that the characteristics studied in the laboratory are proof of identity – are different. Therefore, this chapter describes the implications of our findings on the state of scientific knowledge for both statements on the extent to which DNA samples match and for statements on the likelihood of such matches.
As soon as it is determined that two samples have similar profiles, the question arises as to what, if anything, can be said to Trier about the significance of this result. Before forensic experts can conclude that DNA testing has the ability to identify the source of a sample of evidence, it must be shown that DNA traits vary from person to person. Therefore, it would not be scientifically justifiable to speak of a match as proof of identity in the absence of underlying data allowing a reasonable estimate of the true rarity of matching characteristics. In 1987, forensic DNA analysis appeared for the first time in a U.S. courtroom. Originally known as “DNA fingerprinting,” this type of analysis is now called “DNA profiling” or “DNA testing” to distinguish it from traditional skin impressions. For example, Evett 1991, p. 201 (“Simply leaving a court with a probability rate does not seem to be enough.”): cf. Fienberg 1992 (critique of the representation of a relative probability function). Investigators often look for forensic evidence in cases where sexual assault is suspected.
In some cases, DNA evidence can prove or refute allegations of rape or child abuse. Obviously, the defence can only enter into such an agreement if it is sufficiently informed of the prosecution`s interrogation plans and if it has appointed an expert. See, for example: Commonwealth v Gliniewicz, 500 N.E.2d 1324, 1327 (1986) (finding that the prosecution`s actions violated a pre-trial agreement, the court noted that “the defendants had not been informed of the upcoming tests and were therefore unable to have their own expert present to observe and possibly refute the subjective aspects of the [blood] tests”). However, the value of the presence of defence experts has been questioned (see Wooley, 1995). State v Johnson, 183 Ariz. 623 (Ct. App. 1995) (“Much of the remaining debate stems from criticisms that the upper limit method is too conservative, that there is no evidence of population substructure, and that further studies are needed to determine the best way to present probability statistics to jurors, rather than doubts about the validity of the upper limit method as a reliable and highly conservative forensic tool”), Rev.; People v Venegas, 36 Cal. Rptr. 2d 856 (Ct. App. 1995) (generally noting that preliminary calculations of the cap have “judicial reliability”), rev.; United States v.
Porter, 618 A.2d 629 (DC Ct. App. 1992); Commonwealth v Lanigan, 419 Mass. 15, 641 N.E.2d 1342 (1994) (“the great weight of opinion seems to be” that “the answer given by the upper limit principle is. either irrationally conservative and therefore absurd, or a reasonable means of producing admissible probabilistic evidence that is not affected by potential problems in structuring the population”); State V Alt, 504 N.W.2d 38 (Minn. ct. App. 1993); State v Vandebogart, 616 A.2d 483 (N.H. 1994) (confirming the trial court`s findings on remand “that there is a `universal` consensus within the scientific community of geneticists and DNA forensic experts that the principle of the provisional upper limit takes due account of the possibility of a substructure of the population by means of a very conservative estimate” and that, Although these estimates “may be so conservative, that they are considered inaccurate, however, it is generally accepted. that any error in these estimates favours the defendant”); State v. Streich, 658 A.2d 38 (vt.
1995) (“It is generally accepted in the scientific community that the upper-bound principle overcompensates for any population substructure or allele linking.”). When used correctly, DNA profiling is a powerful forensic tool. It can be used to quickly eliminate a suspect and save time in the search for perpetrators. And it can provide convincing evidence to support a conviction and, most importantly, reduce the likelihood of an unlawful conviction. Since DNA testing became widespread, the sentences of more than 375 convicted persons have been quashed on the basis of DNA evidence. In the decades leading up to DNA testing, lawyers and jurors had to rely on eyewitness accounts, fingerprints and other circumstantial evidence to decide guilt or innocence. DNA evidence is a useful and neutral tool in the pursuit of justice. Whether it helps to convict or acquit individuals, DNA evidence will play an increasingly important role in solving crimes in the future.
The result will be better justice for victims and safer communities. For example, let`s say a man was convicted of sexual assault. At the time of his conviction, he had to give a DNA sample and the resulting DNA profile was entered into a DNA database. A few years later, another sexual assault was committed. A sexual assault nurse worked with the victim and was able to obtain biological evidence of the rape. This evidence was analyzed, the resulting profile was matched to a DNA database, and a match was made with the man`s DNA profile. He was arrested, tried and convicted of his second crime. In this hypothetical case, he was also prevented from committing other crimes while in detention. Eyewitnesses confirmed that you were finally near the victim.
If the attack took place somewhere where your fingerprints could be found, the circumstances seem quite suspicious. DNA evidence would be able to prove your innocence in this regard. For example, State v Peters, 192 Wis.