Qualifying the Witness:
|1. Please state your name.
2. What is your occupation/profession?
3. Where are you employed?
4. How long have you been employed by __________?
5. What services does __________ provide?
6. What are your responsibilities and duties?
7. Describe your previous employment opportunities.
8. Would you describe your educational background?
9. Did your formal education include the study of DNA?
10. Did that education include hands-on work with DNA testing techniques?
11. Have you performed research in the area of DNA testing?
12. How many DNA Typing cases have you handled?
13. Is there a difference between research DNA and forensic DNA? Describe.
|14. Have you testified before as an expert in DNA testing? Where? How many times?
15. What role do professional organizations and societies play in the science of DNA?
16. What societies or organizations do you belong to?
17. Do you attend their meetings?
18. Are you ever asked to deliver or present your research and validation at those meetings?
19. Have you published any articles in peer reviewed scientific journals?
20. Do you participate in proficiency testing?
21. What is proficiency testing?
22. How often are you tested?
23. What are the results of these tests?
What is DNA?
A power point presentation describing the basics of DNA and the techniques applied in the particular case is effective here.
|1. What is DNA?
2. Where is DNA found in humans?
3. Is the DNA in all people the same?
4. What about identical twins?
5. What are the methods used to type DNA from different individuals?
6. How are they different from one another?
7. Have you used them before?
8. Have these methods been used in applications other than forensic science?
9. Describe the PCR method.
10. Describe STR’s.
|11. What is the meaning of an STR match?
12. Describe mtDNA.
13. What is the meaning of an mtDNA match?
14. Describe Y-STR’s.
15. What is the meaning of a Y-STR match?
16. Have the techniques you used gone through an internal validation study?
17. Describe the internal validation process.
18. Are the techniques you used generally accepted in the scientific community?
|1. Are controls used in the testing process?
2. What is a control?
3. Why are they important?
4. What if the controls do not work properly?
5. How do you read the results of a control?
6. Can anything make DNA in a sample change from one type to another?
7. Can DNA in a sample get old or die?
8. Is there anything in the testing process that can change the DNA type in a sample?
9. What is contamination?
10. What steps do you take to prevent contamination?
11. Are reference samples processed separately form evidence samples?
12. Are certain processes performed in separate rooms? Why?
13. What role do you play in determining if contamination has occurred?
14. What certifications or accreditations does your laboratory hold?
|15. Describe how the laboratory earns and maintains these certificates or accreditations.
16. Describe the components of an audit or inspection?
17. What are SWGDAM, DAB and the Federal Standards for DNA typing laboratories?
18. How do these play a role in accreditation/certification?
19. Are charges ever dismissed against a defendant as a result of your DNA test results?
20. Are inmates ever freed from prison as a result of your DNA testing results?
21. What is quality assurance?
22. Are quality assurance programs in effect in your laboratory?
23. Please describe those programs.
24. What is technical review?
25. What is administrative review?
|1. What are population frequencies?
2. Why are they important in DNA typing?
3. What is your education and training in population frequencies?
4. Please describe your experience in the use of population frequencies.
5. Have you used them in DNA cases before?
6. Have you testified before as an expert in DNA utilizing population frequencies?
7. How are these estimates calculated?
8. Do you take any steps to ensure your estimates are accurate?
|9. What do mean by “conservative” steps are taken?
10. Why do you calculate estimates for three major races?
11. Is there a point at which you attribute a source to the biological material?
12. How did you reach the cut off in frequency estimates where you determine source?
13. What do you mean by “reasonable degree of scientific certainty”?
14. Without source attribution, are the frequency estimates also to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty?
1. When your laboratory receives cases for DNA testing what steps are taken to ensure the integrity of the evidence?
2. Are subsets of original evidence created?
3. How are the subsets handled?
4. What is a chain of custody?
5. Describe the chain of custody in your laboratory.
6. Does your laboratory maintain an internal chain of custody as well as the chain on the evidence itself?
7. How is evidence stored while it is awaiting examination?
8. How is evidence stored during examinations?
9. Does your laboratory have secure overnight storage in addition to the evidence vault?
|1. Did you receive evidence in the case of _______ vs. _______?
2. When did you receive it?
3. What condition was it received in?
4. What was included in that evidence?
5. What was done with it when it was received?
6. Was the entire sample used during the testing process?
7. Why? Or Why not?
8. Why do you try to preserve a portion of the evidence?
9. Which samples were tested by you in this case?
10. Were results obtained from all samples?
|11. Explain this table of results that you have prepared for us.
12. Did a second individual review these results?
13. Were the two of you in agreement?
14. Did all of the controls show the tests were performed properly?
15. What were the results in this case?
16. Did you calculate estimates for the rarity of the profiles you found?
17. What are those estimates?
18. What do those estimates mean?
19. What did you do with the evidence after your testing was completed?