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NCJ Number: 115459 Find in a Library
Title: DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) Identification Tests and the Courts
Journal: Washington Law Review  Volume:63  Issue:4  Dated:(1988)  Pages:903-955
Author(s): L Beeler; W R Wiebe
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 53
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the current status of forensic tests analyzing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) concludes that courts should admit the results of these tests in identifying criminal suspects and tracing paternity.
Abstract: DNA represents a unique genetic blueprint that enables scientists to identify individuals, much as fingerprints enable criminologists to identify individuals. No other blood or serum tests can match the accuracy of DNA tests. DNA tests can match a sample of the suspect's DNA to small amounts of blood, semen, and other biological tissue recovered from a crime scene. Under ideal testing circumstances, the probability that two individuals share the same DNA test pattern is less than 1 in 30 billion. DNA testing is currently costly and complicated, and its use as evidence in a civil or criminal proceeding is still relatively new. However, it is sound in principle and has been shown in practice to be reliable. Thus, DNA test results offered by qualified experts should be admissible under the lenient admissibility test of the Federal Rules of Evidence and under the strict Frye test of general scientific acceptance. Judicial acceptance of DNA tests will enhance society's interests in solving violent crimes while ensuring that innocent suspects are freed. 264 footnotes.
Main Term(s): DNA fingerprinting
Index Term(s): Blood/body fluid analysis; Forensic medicine; Rules of evidence; Suspect identification; Tissue analysis
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