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Name: People v. Prince
Case #: F045053
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/05/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 3/15/06
Summary

The court properly admitted DNA statistics based on defendant’s ethnicity as opposed to the perpetrator’s in light of independent evidence establishing the defendant as the perpetrator. The issue before the court was whether the frequency with which a genetic profile occurs within the defendant’s racial or ethnic group is admissible to establish that the defendant is the perpetrator of an offense, where the evidence does not support a finding of preliminary fact that the perpetrator belongs to the same racial or ethnic group. The court concluded that profile frequency evidence cannot be used to prove that the defendant is the perpetrator if the evidence is based on an assumption that the perpetrator and the defendant belong to the same ethnic group without any supporting evidence. The probative value of a profile’s frequency in the ethnic population depends on proof that the perpetrator belongs to that ethnic group. However, the court concluded that the preliminary fact determination of the perpetrator’s ethnicity may be established either by other evidence showing the perpetrator’s ethnic group, or by other evidence tending to show that the defendant is the perpetrator. Either preliminary fact will support admission of statistical evidence based on defendant’s ethnicity.