Maryland rules that DNA evidence is not automatically admissible under state statute and is subject to the Frye-Reed standard of admissibility

Maryland’s DNA Admissibility Statute set forth discovery and notice requirements for admitting DNA evidence, as well as setting out standards for the DNA testing. Any DNA testing had to be conducted in accordance with the standards of the Technical Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (TWGDAM) and the DNA Advisory Board. If the DNA evidence met the requirements set forth in the statute, it was automatically admissible. However, neither of these two organizations exist any more.

In defendant Richmond Phillips’ case, the DNA testing was conducted in accordance with the FBI standards rather than the two boards mentioned in the DNA Admissibility Statute. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals determined that the FBI standards were not enough to meet the requirements of the DNA Admissibility Statute, and therefore a Frye-Reed hearing was proper. The court further determined that the trial court had properly admitted the DNA evidence because the DNA evidence was generally accepted as reliable within the scientific field.

Phillips v. State, 2015 WL 6472286 (2015).

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