This study examined the influence of DNA evidence on prosecutorial decisions in sexual assault cases.
Thirty-eight prosecutors experienced with prosecuting sexual violence cases were surveyed regarding the use of biological evidence in sexual assault cases, including the ways in which it is generally used, the cases in which it is most critical to have, and factors impacting case attrition. Results indicate that prosecutors perceive DNA evidence to be extremely valuable in prosecuting sexual assault cases. Several themes related to the perspective, context, process, and conditions under which DNA evidence plays a vital role in sexual assault case processing are identified. (publisher abstract modified)