Case Law Involving Paternity

State Case Law

Alabama
First Case: People v. Perry, guilty of rape, Scottsboro, 1988
Appellate Decision: Accepted DNA, remanded Perry to trial court on basis of statistics and three-pronged Frye standard, 1991; trial court found general acceptance of statistical analysis, 1992.
Data Bank established:1994
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1994

Alaska
First Case: DNA evidence accepted in criminal trial in Kodiak, 1990.
Data Bank established:no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Arizona
First case: People v. Bible, Superior Court judge ruled to allow the introduction of DNA evidence in the murder trial of Richard Bible. Bible was charged with murder, kidnapping, and child molestation in the disappearance and death of a 9-year-old girl. Coconino County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: People v. Bible, 1993. DNA evidence admitted, but statistical estimates excluded.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Arkansas
DNA evidence was admitted in a Little Rock rape case following a pretrial hearing in November 1989.
Appellate Decision: Prater v. Arkansas, 1991. Affirmed DNA admissibility.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

California
First case: People v. Axell, guilty of murder, Ventura County Superior Court, 1989.
Appellate Decision: People v. Soto, 1994. Affirmed admission of evidence and statistics.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Colorado
First case: People v. Gallagher, guilty of sexual assault, El Paso County, 1988.
Appellate Decision: Fishback v. State of Colorado, 1993. Admitted DNA evidence and left statistical frequency questions to trial courts.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Connecticut
First case: People v. Williams, PCR test conducted fails to show link between defendant and woman stabbed to death in a shopping center parking lot, Stamford, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Silvri, 1994. Judgment reversed and case remanded with recommendation to conform with NRC report.
Data Bank established: 1994
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1994 Delaware
Second case: People v. Pennell, guilty of murder, Wilmington, 1989.
Data Bank established: 1994
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1994

District of Columbia
First case: Green v. District of Columbia, After being convicted in June, 1989, Green pursued DNA testing, which revealed that he was not the individual whose semen had stained the victim’s clothing. Rape, kidnapping, and sodomy charges dropped in 1990
Appellate Decision: U.S. v. Porter, 1994. Affirmed admissibility and use of ceiling principle.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Florida
First case: People v. Andrews, guilty of rape, 1987.
Appellate Decision: Toranzo v. Florida, 1992. Affirmed admissibility and frequency estimate.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Georgia
First case: People v. Redding, DNA evidence admitted after pretrial hearing in rape case. Defendant pleaded guilty. Decatur, 1988.
Appellate Decision: Morris v. State, 1994. Affirmed use of evidence and statistics.
Data Bank established: 1992
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Hawaii
First case: People v. Manning, guilty of assault and burglary, Wailuku, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Montalbo, 1992. Admitted DNA evidence and found objections regarding statistical calculations go to weight rather than admissibility.
Data Bank established: 1992
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Idaho
First case: People v. Horsley, guilty of rape, Sandpoint, 1988.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Illinois
First case: Case of Gary Dotson. Cook County judge vacates 1979 rape conviction after DNA test exculpates defendant. Dotson had been convicted in a 1977 rape, for which he spent 6 years in jail. Alleged victim recanted story in 1985, and Governor James Thompson granted clemency, but rape conviction remained on his record. Dotson had requested that the case be reopened for new trial after PCR tests excluded him. Cook County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: People v. Lipscomb, 1991. Accepted DNA tests and statistical calculations.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Indiana
First case: People v. Hopkins, guilty of rape/sodomy/ murder, Fort Wayne, 1989.
Appellate Decision: McElroy v. State, 1992. Court upheld DNA admissibility and frequency calculations.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1991

Iowa
First case: People v. Vargason, guilty of sexual abuse, Johnson County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Ripperger, 1994. Affirmed use of evidence and statistics.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Kansas
First case: People v. Pioletti, guilty of murder, Wichita, 1988.
Appellate Decision: State v. Wilson, 1991. Ruled that procedural questions related to weight of evidence rather than admissibility.
Data Bank established: 1991
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Kentucky
Appellate Decision: Harris v. Commonwealth, 1992. Affirmed the use of DNA evidence and statistics.
Data Bank established: 1992
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Louisiana
First case: People v. Quatrevingt, guilty of murder/rape, New Orleans, 1990.
Appellate Decision: State v. Quatrevingt, 1992. Ruled DNA evidence is pro se admissible under Louisiana statute.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1990

Maine
First case: People v. McLeod. The prosecution, in sexual molestation case, withdrew DNA evidence during a preliminary hearing on the reliability of the data, Portland, 1989.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Maryland
First case: People v. Tasker. Defendant pleads guilty to second-degree rape and draws 5-year prison sentence in case where DNA evidence introduced. Anne Arundel County, 1988.
Data Bank established: 1994
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1991

Massachusetts
First case: People v. Curnin, guilty of rape, Worcester, 1989.
Appellate Decision: Commonwealth v. Daggett, 1993. The supreme court, unable to reach consensus on the admissibility of DNA evidence, ruled that even if the evidence was erroneously admitted, it was a harmless error.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Michigan
First case: People v. Fagan, guilty of rape, Flint, 1988.
Data Bank established: 1994
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Minnesota
First case: People v. Nielson, guilty of murder, Ramsey County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Johnson, 1993. Upheld admissibility of DNA evidence including frequency statistics for each individual locus and not the product of all loci.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1989

Mississippi
First case: People v. Weaver, guilty of rape, Hinds County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: Polk v. State, 1992. Court found 3-prong Frye standard satisfied and evidence properly admitted.
Data Bank established: from and after January 6, 1996.
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Missouri
First case: People v. Thomas, guilty of rape, St. Louis, 1989.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Montana
First case: People v. Drummond. Sexual intercourse without consent allegedly committed by a State institution attendant against a developmentally disabled patient. The victim gave birth and DNA comparisons were done by Lifecodes. Defendant pleaded guilty. Jefferson County, 1989.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Nevada
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1989

New Hampshire
First case: People v. Barnaby. DNA analysis admitted, according to State Attorney General’s Office. Hillsborough County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Vandebogart, 1992. Reversed admission of DNA evidence and remanded case to trial court to determine if ceiling principle was acceptable, which the trial court did.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

New Jersey
First case: People v. Beard. Nearly 3 months after being charged with murder, the defendant was released after a judge ruled that authorities arrested the wrong man. The primary suspect in a 1975 Georgia murder disappeared after the crime. Mistakenly, his cousin (the defendant in this case) was arrested. DNA tests conducted by Lifecodes proved the jailed man was not the father of a man known to be the son of the suspect. Union County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Williams, 1991. Affirmed the use of PCR.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

New Mexico
First case: People v. Collins. A man once charged with killing his step-daughter was released from prison in October 1989 pending the outcome of DNA testing. Open murder charges against the defendant were dismissed in the interim. Santa Fe, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Anderson, 1994. Reversed Court of Appeals ruling that DNA evidence, admitted by trial court, was inadmissible due to statistical methodology.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

New York
First case: People v. Zambrana, guilty of murder, New City, 1987.
Appellate Decision: People v. Wesley, 1994. Affirmed admissibility and statistical estimates.
Data Bank established: 1994
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

North Carolina
First case: People v. Mills, guilty of murder, Salisbury, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Pennington, 1990. Affirmed use of DNA evidence and statistics.
Data Bank established: 1993
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

North Dakota
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Ohio
First case: People v. Dascenzo, guilty of aggravated murder, Montgomery County, 1988.
Appellate Decision: Ohio v. Penton, 1993. Affirmed PCR and reiterated relevancy as admissibility standard rather than Frye standard.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Oklahoma
First case: People v. Hunt, first time Lifecodes testifies regarding DNA evidence in criminal case, defendant acquitted of murder, Norman, 1987.
Data Bank established: 1991
Legislated Admissibility passed: no


Oregon
First case: People v. Futch, DNA test results offered for admission at 7-month pretrial hearing, Clatsop County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Lyons, 1993. Affirmed use of DNA evidence and statistics.
Data Bank established: 1991
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Pennsylvania
First case: People v. Trubia, guilty of murder/rape, Lackawanna County, 1988.
Appellate Decision: Commonwealth v. Rogers, 1992. Affirmed DNA admissibility under Frye.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Rhode Island
First case: In re: Case involving rape of a nursing home resident. Juvenile admitted sufficient facts to establish the charge against him; sentenced to 3 years at a juvenile facility. 1989.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

South Carolina
First case: People v. Evans, guilty of rape/burglary, Charleston County, 1989.
Appellate Decision:
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

South Dakota
First case: People v. Wimberly, guilty of rape, Meade County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Wimberly. Affirmed use of evidence and statistics.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Tennessee
First case: FBI testimony in rape case in Blountville results in admission of DNA evidence, 1989, Trial pending.
Appellate Decision: People v. Harris, 1992. Affirmed admissibility and frequency estimate under both Frye and relevancy test.
Data Bank established: 1991
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1991

Texas
First case: People v. Trimboli, A DNA test that triple-murder defendant Ronald Trimboli had hoped would clear his name instead gave prosecutors additional evidence against him. Tests concluded that semen found on the bedspread where one of the three victims was raped matched a sample Trimboli had given for the test. Trimboli’s two earlier trials for the three murders both ended in mistrials, first because of jury misconduct and later because a jury deadlocked, 6 to 6. The third trial resulted in a conviction on all three counts of murder. Tarrant County, test in 1988, convicted in 1989.
Appellate Decision: Kelly v. Texas, 1992. Affirmed DNA admissibility and concluded Frye was no longer part of Texas law.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Utah
First case: People v. Bickmore, DNA evidence admitted, mistrial declared on other grounds, Ogden, 1989.
Data Bank established: 1994
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Vermont
First case: United States v. Jakobetz. Admissibility hearing pending in rape case. Defense attorney has filed request that genetic evidence not be used in court. In August 1989, judge ruled that hair, blood, and saliva samples could be taken from defendant for testing. U.S. District Court, Burlington, 1989.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Virgina
First case: People v. Reynolds, DNA evidence admitted in murder case, Henrico County, 1988.
Appellate Decision: Spencer v. Commonwealth, 1990. Affirmed use of DNA evidence.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1990

Washington
First case: People v. Young. DNA tests exclude Young, who had been identified by the victim as the rapist. Charges dropped, Snohomish County, 1989.
Appellate Decision: State v. Cauthron, 1993. Reversed trial court’s admission of DNA match without population statistics and remanded.
Data Bank established: 1990
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

West Virginia
First case: People v. Ferrell, guilty of murder, Petersburg, 1989.
Data Bank established: 1993
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Wisconsin
First case: People v. Banks, guilty of rape, Kenosha County, 1989.
Data Bank established: 1993
Legislated Admissibility passed: 1993

Wyoming
First case:
Appellate Decision: Springfield v. State, 1993. Affirmed use of DNA evidence and statistical calculations.
Data Bank established: no
Legislated Admissibility passed: no

Military
First case: United States v. Scott. Rape case. Military judge approved request for DNA tests, but DNA in sample too degraded to perform the testing. U.S. Marine Corps, 1988.



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