Members of the public have reported receiving calls, reportedly from the Judicial Branch of the Public Defender’s office, indicating that their loved one is in jail and they need to immediately send cash or provide a credit card number for bail. These calls are scams, so please do not send cash or provide your credit card number or any other personal information. A public defender would never call and ask for money or credit card information. If you receive such a call, contact the State Police in your state.

DNA Resources
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Connecticut-Specific Resources
Below are materials specific to Connecticut. The items marked “PD only” can be accessed only by Connecticut public defenders. If you are an assigned counsel handling a DNA case in Connecticut and would like to access the restricted materials, please contact us.
 
Connecticut Forensic Laboratory Procedures and Protocols (PD Only)    
Database of our state lab’s procedures and protocols for DNA and forensic biology sections, dating back to 1999. It is important for attorneys to consult the procedures and protocols that were in effect on the date of testing and/or interpretation. Please contact the DNA Project  if you need assistance locating the relevant documents. These SOPs are for the exclusive use of Connecticut public defenders and are not to be distributed to third parties.
 
Transcript Bank (PD only)
Collection of transcripts from criminal trials involving DNA in Connecticut.

DNA Cases and New Developments
Various cases and developments
 
Template for requesting DNA “bench notes” from the state lab, through state’s attorney. If, upon review of the initial bench notes, it appears that you will be hiring an expert and/or going to trial, please contact us about how to obtain additional discovery.
 
Compilation of DNA-related statutes and Practice Book provisions in Connecticut.
Preparing a DNA Case (Training) [video] – COMING SOON

General Educational Materials
Below are some of the materials that we think are the most useful and accessible for defense lawyers handling DNA cases, but there are many more resources out there. Please feel free to contact us if you are looking for resources on a particular topic.
 
DNA 101 and Mixtures  [youtube video]
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2016
Introductory training to forensic DNA.
 
Forensic DNA Mixups  [youtube video]
Professor Greg Hampikian, 2015
TEDx Talk about common errors in forensic DNA.
 
Forensic Bioinformatics
Two-page handout containing glossary of DNA testing terminology, plus other basic reference information.
 
David Kaye and George Sensabaugh, 2011
Detailed book chapter on forensic DNA (from Reference Guide on DNA Identification Evidence: Third Edition).
 
Sense about Science and EUROFORGEN, 2017
Understandable guide to the use of DNA in criminal investigations (European, but applicable to United States).
 
Royal Society, 2017
Another useful manual on forensic DNA analysis, created to provide guidance to judiciary in the UK (but applicable to United States).
 
National Institute of Justice, 2012
Guide to forensic DNA, specifically geared towards defense attorneys.
 
Website for SWGDAM, a group of scientists from different forensic DNA laboratories across the United States and Canada. SWGDAM issues interpretive guidelines and other standards that are then implemented by state labs.
 
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2016
Report prepared for President Obama on how to strengthen forensic science and ensure its validity. Discussion and evaluation of DNA analysis at pp. 69–83.
 
Bright et al., 2018
Scientific article compiling data from 31 labs on reliability/validity of STRmix (the probabilistic genotyping software currently used in Connecticut). This link will bring you to the abstract of the article. For more information about obtaining a copy of this article, please contact us.
 
STRmix [web]
Official website of STRmix, the probabilistic genotyping software used by the Connecticut state lab for DNA interpretation.
 
2018 New York Times Op Ed Piece;
A study show that 74 out of 108 crime labs implicated an innocent person in a hypothetical bank robbery.
 
2018 Forbes Op Ed Piece;
A good explanation about how the detection of your client's DNA on an evidentiary item / crime scene does not necessarily indicate his/her presence or contact with that item / crime scene.

No Longer the Gold Standard: Probabilistic Genotyping is Changing the Nature of DNA Evidence in Criminal Trials

Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, Volume 24, Issue 1, Spring 2019
This is a nice article which explains likelihood ratios (the current statistical methodology used to express the probative value / strength of a DNA match) and argues that applying likelihood ratio calculations in DNA cases waters down the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Note: Our lab uses a complex software program called STRmix to calculate likelihood ratios; this program employs extremely complicated, proprietary algorithms.
 

Defendant’s Brief in State v. Terrance Police – AC 43952  09-08-2020

This is an appellate brief authored by Mark Rademacher, challenging the legality of a “John Doe” warrant to toll the Statute of Limitation where the DNA profile (evidence from crime scene) is a mixture (more than one person) and partial profile (not a complete profile, some missing alleles) where the crime scene DNA and did not contain sufficient genetic material (DNA) to identify a suspect with reasonable certainty. Mark did a fantastic job explaining DNA and this is a must read for people who want a nice primer on forensic DNA analysis.

AC 43952 State v. Police Def.’s Brief 9.8.20]
AC 43952 State v. Police Def.’s Appendix Parts 1 2]