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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Jurors and DNA Evidence

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Photo of a jury with a thought bubble with the words "mtDNA", "RFLP", "ySTR", and "SNPs" inside.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

To most jurors, DNA evidence may seem complex and confusing. Although many jurors may have heard of DNA testing and know that it can be a valuable investigatory tool, most will not be familiar with the actual technology or how scientists use it to compare evidence with known samples and arrive at identification conclusions. Qualified experts may be helpful in explaining the evidence to the jury.

Pretrial preparation with an expert is essential to ensure a familiarity with the evidence and the subject area about which the expert will testify.

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