enacted laws that declare that appropriately performed DNA tests are admissible. Although they do not specify what an appropriate test is, the statutes must have been passed with single-locus RFLP analyses by Southern blotting in mind. Arguably, some of them should not be interpreted as applying to technologies that were not in general use and therefore could not have been evaluated by the legislatures that passed the statutes. Such technologies could be validated by amended statutes or by courts in Frye or Rule 702 hearings. For most purposes, states with such laws have statutorily resolved disagreements over the scientific reliability of DNA testing, although the questions of whether tests were performed properly in a given case and of the adequacy of statistical calculations based on test results probably remain subject to challenge.

The state laws are of two types. A number of states—including Arkansas, Connecticut, Michigan, Montana, and New Mexico—now specifically admit DNA evidence to assist in the resolution of paternity—noncriminal—cases (and, by inference, probably other disputes concerning biological relationships).35 Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington have enacted laws that recognize the admissibility of DNA evidence in criminal cases.36

Maryland requires that the DNA report be delivered to the defendant 2 weeks before the criminal proceeding and specifies that the defendant may require a witness who analyzed the sample to testify as to the chain of custody. The Minnesota statute states that in any civil or criminal trial or hearing DNA evidence is admissible without "antecedent expert testimony that DNA analysis provides a trustworthy and reliable method of identifying characteristics in an individual's genetic material upon a showing that the offered testimony meets the standards for admissibility set forth in the Rules of Evidence"; a companion provision specifically permits the admission of "statistical population frequency evidence … to demonstrate the fraction of the population that would have the same combination of genetic markers as was found in a specific human biological specimen." Louisiana provides that "evidence of deoxyribonucleic acid profiles, genetic markers of the blood, and secretor status of the saliva offered to establish the identity of the offender of any crime is relevant as proof in conformity with the Louisiana Code of Evidence.''

Legislative interest in DNA evidence remains active, and it is likely that other states will enact laws generally favorable to its admissibility.


Despite the scientific debate concerning some aspects of DNA typing technology, by late 1990 at least 11 states had implicitly acknowledged its

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