Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule containing a species' biological blueprint. DNA is made up of a sequence of four bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). All humans have approximately 99% of the same sequence of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. It is the other 1% that makes each person unique, and in turn, what makes DNA powerful evidence in support of guilt or innocence.
The first step in addressing DNA evidence is to get the lab reports. This checklist and sample discovery demand were created to help attorneys/litigants identify whether they have all of the lab reports associated with DNA evidence.
There are different types of DNA tests, such as Short Tandem Repeates (STR), Mini-STR, Y-STR, and Amelogenin (gender typing) testing. The probative value of the test results depends in part on the test itself as well as the biological material(s) that was tested.
For more information on DNA and DNA testing please see DNA for the Defense Bar, a guide to better understanding DNA and how to litigate DNA issues that was written for defense attorneys by defense attorneys and DNA experts.