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Part II: Mitochondrial DNA Generally Accepted as Admissible Evidence  

Author:  Roslyn Myers, Esq..

Source: Volume 02, Number 05, August/September 2001 , pp.75-77(3)

Sex Offender Law Report

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This is the second part of a series discussing the admissibility of DNA evidence. Part I, presented in the last issue, introduced the two types of DNA found in every cell in the human body: nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The cases presented in Part I applied the Frye standard for admitting evidence, which states that scientific evidence is admissible only if it has “gained general acceptance in the particular field in which it belongs.” (Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).) The first case presented below in Part II applies the Jones standard, a more liberal standard, used in South Carolina and a handful of other states that requires courts to examine the reliability of the technique based on peer reviews, previous application of the technique, testing procedure controls, and the consistency of the methodology. The second case discusses several due process issues, such as the necessity of expert assistance in defending against DNA evidence and the necessity of establishing a chain of custody with regard to any DNA samples.


Affiliations:  1: Managing Editor for SLR.

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