This report on the proceedings of the eighth meeting of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence contains an update on Commission business, reports of the Commission's working groups, and presentations related to the Commission's work.
The update on Commission business described what the Commission staff has been doing to disseminate products of the Commission's work and the feedback it has received. This update was followed by a prototype demonstration of the interactive DNA training CD-ROM for law enforcement agencies. The report of the Research and Development Working Group presented a 5- or 10-year projection of the technological developments in DNA technology and the likely impacts on society and the criminal justice system. The report of the Laboratory Funding Working Group focused on steps in the laboratory processing of DNA evidence and how this relates to backlogs in DNA testing and the need for funding increases. The Legal Issues Working Group report discussed legal issues that pertain to acquiring crime scene DNA samples, obtaining suspect samples, and then drawing inferences from these two analyses. The presentation and discussion during the meeting's working lunch consisted of a description of the Criminal Cases Review Commission of the United Kingdom. This was followed by the report of the Post-conviction Working Group and subsequent participant discussion, which focused on progress made in modifying State laws that impede the use of the DNA evidence that emerges after a conviction that might exonerate a defendant who has already been convicted. The meeting's transcript contains participant comments and questions in the course of discussions during the meeting.