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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers

Consumption of Evidence

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Consumption of Evidence

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National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Consumption of evidence is a perpetual concern. When samples are outsourced, consumption issues are compounded. Unless the outsourced laboratory has received prior instructions, it will have to contact the governmental laboratory when it determines that limited DNA is present and obtain approval to consume the sample. The decision to consume may involve the submitting agency, the prosecutor and/or the court. Both laboratories must document the decision.

Additional Expenses May Be Incurred

Additional work may be required of the governmental laboratory for outsourced samples. Depending on the outsourcing agreement, samples may be returned to the governmental laboratory from the outsourcing laboratory for return to the submitting agency. Post-analysis hits may require reinterpretation of the outsourced profile. The cost of testimony by the outsourcing analyst may be billed to the prosecutor or the laboratory. Since testimony may occur several years after analysis, it is difficult to budget for these types of expenses.

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