testing has been admitted into the federal and state courts,
and even into several justice systems around the world.
The tests are, for the most part, highly accurate and
usually very conclusive.
federal courts, DNA tests are only admissible if they
pass the Federal Rules of Evidence standards and guidelines
(meaning that the tests can only be presented if the evidence
is relevant to the case and will help the jury or judge
reach a decision). The residing judge of each trial must
decide if the DNA tests is generally accepted accurate
by a majority of scientists (called the Frye rule) and
has the right to withhold the results if he/she feels
the test will only hinder the jury (if they will be confused
or misinterpret the test).
have different laws concerning DNA tests. Some accept
all forms of the tests (there are other methods besides
the RFLP and PCR, but they arenít as precise or accurate)
while others, like California, will accept only the RFLP
test because of its greater accuracy. Some states allow
DNA test evidence to be admitted freely; others take a
more cautious approach and examine the benefits of a test
during each trial.
1994, President Clinton signed the DNA Identification
Act which has many benefits. Under the new law, the Federal
government has issued grants to various states to develop
new forensic research laboratories (crime labs where DNA
tests are given and studied). The act also initiated a
national DNA index in which all states have access. The
index is run by the FBI who established the Forensic Science
Research and Training Center several years ago. A DNA
standards advisory board was created to establish certain
guidelines forensics laboratories must follow, as well.