Introduction to Redirect and Rebuttal
Redirect of the prosecution analyst and rebuttal constitute the prosecutor's opportunity to reaffirm the integrity of the DNA evidence after it has been challenged by the defense. Redirect and rebuttal do not stand alone but accomplish their goals through two primary strategies which are echoed throughout the trial:
- Winning the battle of the evidence:
The prosecution establishes that the state’s DNA analyst is better qualified, trained, and experienced in forensic DNA typing than is the defense expert witness and thus the state’s DNA analyst’s opinion is more credible.
- Showing the jury how the DNA evidence proves the prosecution's theory of the case:
The prosecution describes the link between the DNA evidence and the non-DNA evidence and reiterates these links throughout the case.
In this topic you will learn about common defense attacks and the strategies for conducting the redirects and rebuttals.
Too much scientific information presented to the jury too early may have a negative impact on a case.
This could result in the evidentiary significance and impact of the DNA evidence being lost in a flood of scientific terminology and raw data. Several points to keep in mind in the battle between expert witnesses:
- First establish that the state's expert's credentials and training are superior to the defense witness'. Emphasize the state expert's daily work involving forensic DNA testing,
- Second determine whether the defense expert's credentials are the result of nationally recognized training and hands-on forensic testing or merely dues-paying association membership,
- Third, determine whether the defense arguments run counter to authoritative opinions on forensic DNA testing and the consensus of the relevant scientific communities,
- Finally, the prosecutor should demonstrate that the DNA analyst is not just one soldier but an army of scientists.
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