When Does DNA Exonerate in Non-Rape Cases: Evaluating and Litigating DNA Test Results

Location: Maverick
Date: Sat, April 9
Time: 1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

As prosecutors are utilizing DNA more to convict, innocence organizations are seeing fewer cases where there is a rape kit or underwear to test for the semen/DNA of the perpetrator. This panel will focus on evaluating test results in cases where the source of the DNA is not linked to sperm/seminal fluid, but rather from being handled by or in contact with the perpetrator. Specifically, the panel will discuss when a complete profile is created from "touch DNA" and what the generation of a complete profile tells you about its value, and how to demonstrate value, through literature and "common sense" of experts. More importantly, the panel will discuss evaluating DNA results when partial profiles and/or mixtures are generated in the wake of concerns regarding contamination and concerns over low template testing or stochastic effects. The panel will address evaluating such results for purposes of determining whether to pursue exoneration and how to address the State's attack on their inherent value.

301: Advanced