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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Potential Juror Bias toward Science

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When DNA is the primary or pivotal evidence in a case, a prosecutor should spend time educating the jury about the science and technology of DNA, as well as its limitations. If DNA is not the primary issue but will be offered as evidence, the prosecutor should still explore jurors' knowledge of it during voir dire.

Prosecutors should explore, through voir dire, whether a potential juror has any scientific, analytical, or experimental background relating to DNA. Individuals with this background often understand the nuances of scientific testing and therefore are good choices for a jury. But it is important for prosecutors to determine if any bias for or against the science already exists among these potential jurors.

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