What Are the Legal Challenges in Reference to Dna Evidence

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Returning to the implications of recognizing an accused`s right to reconsideration whenever possible, difficult questions may arise when jurors are informed of the defence`s failure to retake the test or the results of a reconsideration. See, for example, United States v Butler, 988 F.2d 537 (5th Cir. 1993) (cocaine), cert. denied, 114 p.ct. 413 (1993). Similarly, some States interpret the rules of application of the law of their jurisdiction as requiring review (Note 1984). Other states have laws or regulations that specifically provide for the review of physical evidence. See, for example, Iowa Code Ann. § 813.2, R. 13(2)(b)(1) (1979); The. Crim code.

Part 71 (West 1981); State v Schwartz, 447 N.W.2d 422, 427 (Minn. 1989) (citing a Minnesota Code of Criminal Procedure, which grants defense attorney the right to “all results of. scientific tests, experiments or comparisons related to the particular case” to conclude that, to the extent possible, “an accused should receive the actual DNA sample(s) to reproduce the tests”). In addition, some authorities support a constitutional right to review arising from the requirement of due process. See, for example, Moore v State, 748 P.2d 732, 735 (Ok. Crim. App. 1987) (The Oklahoma Constitution requires the state to give the defendant an opportunity to re-examine and retest, unless the sample has been consumed by the government; illegal substance); State v Thomas, 421 S.E.2d 227, 234 (W.Va.

1992) (if the prosecution conducts a test, such as an electrophoretic blood test, that consumes the sample to be analyzed, the state must “keep as much documentation of the test as reasonably possible to permit full and fair examination of the results by a defendant and his experts”). Other dishes, though. concluded that, even if a new hearing was denied, the right to cross-examine the prosecutor`s expert provided the accused with sufficient protection. See, for example, Frias/State, 547 N.E.2d 809, 813 (Ind. 1989) (cocaine), cert. denied, 495 U.S. 921 (1990); People v. Bell, 253 N.W.2d 726.729 (1977); Montoya (1995). Empirical research does not support the common claim that statistical evidence is overstated. On the contrary, several mock jury studies suggest that decision-makers generally make minor adjustments in their judgments in response to probabilistic evidence not warranted by statistical evidence.90 Nevertheless, the extremely low random probabilities associated with a lot of DNA evidence could lead jurors to perceive evidence as varying in quality and quantity. Virtually no study of jury responses has evaluated the effects of probability as extremely as those in Commonwealth v. Curnin.91 State v Johnson, 183 Ariz.

623 (Ct. App. 1995) (“Much of the remaining debate stems from criticisms that the upper-bound method is too conservative, that there is no evidence of population substructure, and that further studies are needed. determine the best way to present probability statistics to jurors, and not [due to doubt 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 of population structuring”); State V Alt, 504 N.W.2d 38 (Minn. ct. App. 1993); State v Vandebogart, 616 A.2d 483 (N.H. 1994) (confirming the findings of the Court of First Instance on remand “that there is a `universal` consensus in the scientific community of geneticists and forensic DNA specialists that the principle of the provisional upper limit sufficiently takes into account 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 widely recognized. 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 any population substructure or allele link.”).

In addition, DNA technology is becoming more and more sensitive, but it is a double-edged sword. For one, actionable DNA evidence is more likely to be uncovered than ever before. On the other hand, contaminated DNA and DNA obtained by secondary transfer are now more likely to be detected, blurring investigations. If legal staff are not fully trained in the interpretation of forensic and genetic evidence, this can lead to false clues and miscarriages of justice.