DNA Summit: Victim Round Table Report

Advancements in forensic DNA analysis continue to have a tremendous impact on the criminal justice system. The positive side of this revolution is that it offers enhanced opportunities to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent. For example, new DNA technologies permit the analysis of smaller and different kinds of biological samples than was possible just a few years ago. However, to realize the full potential of DNA in criminal cases, substantial challenges must be overcome. Perhaps those with the most valuable perspective on these challenges are crime victims whose cases involve in DNA evidence. On February 13, 2003, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and Office on Violence Against Women, sponsored a gathering titled DNA, Victims and the Criminal Justice System: A Roundtable Discussion. At the roundtable, victims, victim advocates, crime lab specialists, and members of the law enforcement and legal professions identified some of those challenges and proposed steps to solve them. The roundtable was held as a ‘pre-summit’ event to inform and help design the full summit (Volume I).

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