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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 210455 Find in a Library
Title: Evolution of DNA Evidence for Crime Solving--A Judicial and Legislative History
Journal: Forensic Magazine  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:June/July 2005  Pages:13-15
Author(s): Karen Cormier; Lisa Calandro; Dennis Reeder
Date Published: June 2005
Page Count: 3
Publisher: http://www.forensicmag.com 
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After reviewing the first forensic uses of DNA, this article traces the history of court decisions and legislation bearing upon the admissibility of DNA evidence in court, followed by discussion of other issues that have emerged in the forensic use of DNA.
Abstract: After the first successful use of DNA evidence to convict offenders in England and the United States in the 1980s, the admissibility of DNA evidence was not widely challenged until its wider use by prosecutors spurred defense attorneys to mount legal challenges to its admissibility. People of New York v. Castro was a landmark murder case commonly cited as the first serious challenge to the admissibility of DNA evidence. In this case, the New York Supreme Court outlined recommendations and requirements for future discovery phase proceedings for DNA evidence. Subsequently, most important cases that have involved challenges to DNA evidence have established its admissibility when properly collected and analyzed. In addition to emerging case law regarding DNA evidence, another important development has been the creation of the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). DNA profiles from laboratories authorized to contribute to CODIS must conform to scientifically accepted conditions and procedures for DNA testing, which has further ensured the reliability of DNA evidence. Other DNA-related issues that have emerged are the development of all-felons DNA databases in all 50 States; the enactment of legislation that authorizes "John Doe" warrants based on a nameless DNA profile; postconviction DNA testing; and enactment of the Justice for All Act, which has enhanced funding and guidelines for using DNA technology in the judicial process. 12 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Automated police information systems; Court procedures; DNA fingerprinting; Rules of evidence; Suspect identification
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