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Name: People v. Jackson
Case #: C054954
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/27/2008

The trial court did not err in ruling the use of the “Identifiler” test kit for DNA samples did not require a full Kelly hearing. Jackson became a suspect in several sex offense charges when DNA profiles of samples taken from the victims were matched with Jackson’s DNA profile in the state DNA database. After he was arrested, new DNA samples were taken and compared. At trial Jackson challenged the admission of the DNA evidence, including moving to exclude the DNA evidence under prong one of the Kelly rule for “cold hit” statistics. Jackson argued that the evidence was inadmissible because it was based on the Identifiler DNA test which has not been demonstrated to be generally accepted as reliable in the scientific community as required by Kelly. The appellate court rejected the argument. The DNA amplification in this case was performed by the PCR-STR method which is generally accepted in the scientific community. Although Jackson identified changes in the Identifiler kit which are different from previous test kits, he did not show that these differences change the methodology of the testing of the DNA. The changes appear to increase the accuracy and efficiency of the same methodology of PCR/STR testing. The trial court properly found a prong-one Kelly hearing was not required. Jackson’s concerns were properly addressed through the trial court’s offer of a third-prong Kelly hearing to determine whether the test was properly conducted by the lab.