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STR-DNA Admissibility Court Rulings




While trial courts in two states have refused to admit evidence produced by a method of DNA testing that uses automated equipment to analyze short tandem repeats (STRs), trial courts in many other states have allowed the Profiler Plus and Cofiler Systems into evidence. Recent defense motions have targeted the adequacy of Perkin Elmer's developmental validation, and the company's refusal to disclose their primer sequences. In the majority of cases these efforts have failed and the trial courts are allowing the STR evidence in at trial. 

In People v. Shreck Shreck.PDF , a Colorado trial court decision which has now been Reversed by the Colorado Supreme Court and State v. Pfenning pfenning.pdf a Vermont trial court decision have been available on other websites. See These sites fail to include the cases where trial courts have faced the same issues and rejected the defense challenge to these systems. Those cases are listed below:

  1. California v. Bertsch & Hronis bertsch&hronis.PDF
  2. Missouri v. Boyd boyd.PDF
  3. Utah v. Butterfield butterfield.PDF
  4. Minnesota v. Dishmon dishmon.PDF
  5. Massachusetts v. Gaynor gaynor.PDF
  6. California v. Hill hill.PDF
  7. Arizona v. Lynch lynch.PDF
  8. Florida v. Yisrael yisrael.PDF
  9. Delaware v. Roth roth.PDF
  10. California v. Bolkin (P.E. AmpFlstr Green 1 Kit) bolkin.PDF
  11. California v. Moevao (P.E. AmpFlstr Blue & Green 1 Kits) moevao.PDF
  12. California v. Hackney hackney.PDF
  13. California v. Elizarraras elizarraras.PDF
  14. Colorado v. Flores (Adams County, Colorado) flores_adams.PDF
  15. Michigan v. Phillips phillips.PDF
  16. Michigan v. Cavin cavin.PDF
  17. Michigan v. Kopp et al kopp.PDF
  18. California v. Hunt hunt.PDF
  19. Missouri v. Staples staples.PDF
  20. Colorado v. Flores (Denver, Colorado) flores_denver.PDF
  21. Minnesota v. Kirkendahl kirkendahl.PDF
  22. California v. Baylor baylor.PDF
  23. Rhode Island v. Motyka motyka.PDF State v. Motyka, Rhode Island Supreme Court No. 2002-403-C.A. 3/21/06 (the trial court did not err in ruling that the DNA-STR evidence was admissible and the software package and the user manuals for the fluorescent scanner and thermocycler were not discoverable). motyka2.PDF
  24. R v. Karger (Adelaide, South Australia) (preliminary ruling). karger.PDF
  25. R v. Karger (Adelaide, South Australia) (final ruling). R v Karger.PDF   see R v. Karger (Supreme Court of South Australia - Court of Criminal Appeal 8/30/02) R v. Karger.PDF
  26. New York v. Owens owens.PDF
  27. R v. Gallagher [2001] NSWSC 462 (New South Whales, Australia) gallagher.PDF
  28. New Hampshire v. Whittey whittney.PDF
  29. Minnesota v. Thoms thoms.PDF see thomsAP.PDF
  30. R v. Rees , [2000] NSWSC 544 (New South Wales Supreme Court) r v rees.PDF
  31. R v. McIntyre , [2001] NSWSC 311 (New South Wales Supreme Court) r v. mcintyre.PDF
  32. Connecticut v. Grant grant.PDF
  33. New Jersey v. Deloatch deloatch.PDF
  34. Missouri v. Kieghtley Kieghtley.PDF
  35. Missouri v. Gomes gomes.PDF
  36. New Jersey v. Grant JGrant.PDF
  37. US v. Davis, US District Court of Maryland, No. RWT 07-0199, 3-16-09, the PCR/STR analysis conducted in this case has been previously found reliable by other federal courts, and the highest court of Maryland, and that no Daubert hearing is needed on that procedure and the Defendant’s motion to exclude the DNA evidence on the basis of the LCN procedure was denied. Earl_Davis.pdf

In addition to Shreck and Hill there are five appellate decisions allowing PCR based STR testing. All of these cases are easily accessed on Westlaw or Lexis. Those cases are listed below:

  1. State v. Jackson , 255 Neb. 68, 582 N.W.2d 317 (1998). jackson.PDF
  2. State v. Champ , 2001 WL 273071 (Neb.App., Mar 20, 2001) (NO. A-00-617). champ.PDF
  3. People v. Allen , 85 Cal. Rptr.2d 655 (Cal. App. 2 Dist, 1999). allen.PDF
  4. Watts v. State , 733 So.2d 214 (Miss. 1999). watts.PDF
  5. Com. v. Rosier , 685 N.E.2d 739 (Mass. 1997). rosier.PDF
  6. Lemour v. State , 2001 WL 1502842 (Fla.App. 3 Dist., Nov 28, 2001) (NO. 3D99-2948) lemour.PDF
  7. People v. Garcia, 2001 WL 1464138, Nonpublished/Nonciteable, (Cal. Rules of Court, Rules 976, 977),  (Cal.App. 4 Dist., Nov 19, 2001) (NO. D036220) garcia.PDF
  8. People v. King, 2002 WL 228865, Nonpublished/Nonciteable, (Cal. Rules of Court, Rules 976, 977),  (Cal.App. 1 Dist., Feb 15, 2002) (NO. A087913) king.PFD
  9. Washington v. Tuilefano & Lealuaialii , Superior Court of Washington for King County, No. 97-1-01391-3SEA & 96-1-08245-9SEA, 1/5/98. tuilefano.PDF


There are a number of cases where the primer sequences for the STR ProfilerPlus and COfiler kits have been supplied by Applied Biosystems under a protective court order. AB sequence Case List.PDF

A STR DNA use survey was compiled by the Mesa Police Department Crime Laboratory and updated by the Denver Police Department Crime Laboratory. This survey was conducted worldwide and is presented here. The current version is June 2000. This document is continually being updated so watch for updates: