Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Science Biotechnology DNA illustration and abstract illustration Billion Photos/Shutterstock shutterstock

Most New Jersey lawyers know that State v. Henderson, 208 N.J. 208 (2011), detailed a test for admitting eyewitness testimony at trial and permitted consideration of accepted social science evidence on the risk of misidentification. Henderson placed New Jersey in the forefront of assuring a fair trial to defendants when identification testimony is involved, And in State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 (2008), our Supreme Court had required disclosure of propriety source code information in order to test the reliability of an Alcotest breathalyzer test used to test defendants charged with drunk driving. Following up on that tradition, we are pleased that New Jersey has now assured the same notion with respect to trials involving the introduction of DNA testimony.

On Feb. 3, in State v Pickett, the Appellate Division held that a defendant charged with murder was entitled to access the source codes of DNA software which the prosecutor claimed tied his saliva to the shooting of the homicide victim and injured a child in the same car. The prosecutor sought to tie one of the guns used in the shooting and a ski mask to defendant through use of swabs from the gun and saliva on the mask. The state’s expert designed and utilized the program which established the “statistical probability that a particular individual’s DNA is consistent with data from a given sample, as compared with genetic material from another, unrelated individual from the broader relevant population.” Traditional DNA testing was not conclusive in this case, which involved a “system of software programs developed with the goal of undertaking analysis of … more complex samples…” by use of the “probabilistic genotyping” which analyzes DNA, and which the court said marked “a profound shift in DNA forensics.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

New Jersey Trial Evidence and ProcedureBook

A practical, comprehensive, and strategic approach to evidence law.

Get More Information

The American Lawyer Industry Awards 2021Event

Honoring outstanding legal achievements focused at the national level, largely around Big Law and in-house departments.

Get More Information

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.