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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Limiting the Amount and Type of Evidence

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Limiting the Amount and Type of Evidence

If a case is accepted by policy or exception, the evidence a laboratory accepts from that case may be limited. Laboratories may set a maximum number of items that will initially be worked for any case. The intent of limiting evidence items is to encourage the submitting agency to request analysis on only the most probative and potentially most informative items. For example, in a sexual assault case, depending on the circumstances, the crime laboratory may accept only the sexual assault kit for the initial round of testing.

image of three overlapping circles with text regarding priority of evidence
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Usually, these policies allow and encourage submission of additional items if the first analysis is not informative. Laboratory policies may allow analyses to continue until a DNA profile is found that places the suspect at the scene or until all items have been tested.

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