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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Evidence Presented for Identity Purposes

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Photo art of a DNA strand
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Even if the suspect's DNA is present, it does not prove the defendant is guilty.

This is usually argued when the defense theory is consensual sex or self-defense. The defense will argue that the DNA evidence is non-probative in a consensual sex case because the identity of the defendant is not at issue and the DNA is therefore irrelevant to prove the crime charged.  However, DNA evidence may emphasize the viability of the investigation as well as provide corroboration of the victim's disclosure.  Identity is only one dimension of the state's case.

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