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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Probative Evidence

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DNA is generally a very stable material and can remain intact for a long period of time. Thus, not every item at a crime scene should be considered probative evidence. The facts of the case along with other information will assist in making the determination of what evidence should be tested.

Example: A rape victim identifies her ex-boyfriend as the perpetrator. In this scenario, items at her place of residence where the assault occurred may have his DNA present from past consensual visits. Examination of these items would not necessarily provide useful information, yet the examination of the rape kit taken after the assault would be probative.

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