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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Expanded Involvement of the Prosecutor

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Investigation Through Arrest Phases

Expanded Involvement of the Prosecutor

Photo of a witness stand
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Many jurisdictions use a felony review or a screening process to assess the prosecutorial merit of a case; however, the role of the prosecutor in major cases must be expanded. This is particularly true in cases that will use DNA evidence. Communication during the investigation phase, including laboratory analysis, can save time, preserve valuable resources and negate certain defenses that could be used during the prosecution phase. A prosecutor for the case should be available to discuss possible issues that may arise throughout the investigation.

Input from the prosecutor is critical when identifying the probative value of evidence, prioritizing DNA evidence and leveraging limited resources. Logistics and time constraints do not always allow for this level of involvement; however, the case described in the link below illustrates the value realized when the prosecutor is involved early in the investigation phase.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Commonwealth v. Rosier
PDF download: 32kB

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