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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Direct Examination

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Direct examination of the state's DNA analyst is the key to the state's forensic case. The prosecutor should organize the testimony into two parts:

  1. The foundation to qualify the DNA analyst as an expert
  2. The actual direct witness testimony

The impact of the forensic testimony can be easily lost if the jury is exposed to a prolonged dissertation on the science of DNA or the complex typing procedures preformed by the laboratory. The prosecutor should focus direct examination on assuring the jury they can rely on the science of DNA and that the DNA evidence in this case connects the defendant to the criminal activity.

In this topic you will learn about strategies for conducting direct examinations of a DNA analyst, to include:

  • Working with the DNA analyst;
  • Contrasting your expert to the defense's anticipated expert;
  • Questioning the DNA analyst;
  • Succinctly communicating the scientific information to the jury.

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