Edward K. Cheng

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NYU Annual Survey of American Law

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DNA fingerprinting, criminal justice, forensic science


Criminal Law | Evidence | Law | Science and Technology Law


In recent times, no development has transformed the practice of criminal justice as much as DNA evidence. In little over fifteen years, DNA profiling has produced nothing short of a paradigm shift.1 For police and prosecutors, DNA has become a potent weapon for identifying and convicting criminals. Trace biological material left at a crime scene now provides critical evidence for generating leads through "cold searches" of DNA databases and for convicting defendants at trial. At the same time, for defense attorneys, DNA has become an invaluable tool for seeking exonerations, because just as DNA can link defendants to crimes, it can exclude suspects and the wrongly convicted.



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