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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Central Message of a Closing Argument

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The central message during the closing argument of a case that includes DNA evidence should be a strong statement to the jury that the DNA is unique and the evidence is reliable. Therefore, the match between the crime scene DNA evidence and the DNA profile identifying the defendant supports a guilty verdict. Some suggestions for dealing with challenges to DNA evidence might include:

  1. Coincidental match: DNA is sufficiently unique that other than a case involving identical twins, a coincidental match between two unrelated individuals is statistically unlikely.
  2. Lab error: A prosecutor should focus on a lab's internal reviews, external accreditations, protocols, second examiner review process, examiner proficiency exams, and other forms of checks and balances.

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