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).