Wildlife forensics: an overview and update for the prosecutor
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Wildlife forensics: an overview and update for the prosecutor

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  • Description:
    Proving criminal violations that involve the poaching, smuggling, or illegal commercialization of wildlife often requires scientific testing and testimony regarding the species, cause of death, or correlation between tissue and the seized item. Such testing and testimony is usually conducted by scientists and laboratories that specialize in this area of forensic analysis. As in human-victim cases, wildlife forensic analysis may involve genetics, morphology, chemistry, and pathology. The requirements of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), are equally applicable in trials of wildlife crime. However, the prosecutor wishing to maximize the chances for a successful outcome must be aware of the factors affecting the types of analyses that can be conducted in wildlife cases so that relevant, effective testing is performed and admissible, unbiased expert testimony results.
  • Source:
    The United States Attorneys' Bulletin, 63(3)
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    Public Domain
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