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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

The Impact of DNA Evidence on the Defense Theory of the Case

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photo of a defense attorney to a defendant behind glass
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Because of the reliability of DNA testing, a defendant should understand the consequence of asserting a defense that might contradict the results of DNA analysis. Likewise, it is important for the defendant to understand that results of DNA analysis could support a claim of innocence.

On the other hand, if the defendant could not have been the source of the DNA evidence, a defense demand for DNA testing is critical to ensure a prompt determination of the case and secure potentially exculpatory, or even exonerating, evidence.

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