Standard 7: Evidence or Sample Control

Forensic Science Communications, July 2004 | Go to article overview

Standard 7: Evidence or Sample Control


                                                   Yes   No   N/A

7.1   Does the laboratory have and follow           --   --    --
      a documented evidence control system
      or sample inventory control system
      (convicted offender) for handling and
      preserving the integrity of physical
      evidence?
7.1.1 Is each evidence sample (including            --   --    --
      convicted offender samples)
      labeled with a unique identifier in
      accordance with established agency policy?

Discussion

To successfully satisfy Standard 7.1, compliance must be demonstrated with all of the subcategories of Standard 7.

Convicted offender samples are not considered evidence for the purposes of this document.

The DNA laboratory must have clearly written, well-understood procedures that address handling and preserving of the integrity of evidence and convicted offender samples. Key components of an evidence sample control procedure include proper labeling and sealing of evidence, a documented chain-of-custody record, and a secure area designated for evidence storage. Key components of a convicted offender sample control procedure include proper labeling and sample storage. Each item of evidence and each convicted offender sample (and/or its container) must be marked with a unique identifier.

DISCUSSION HISTORY Revision 6 Issue Date July 1, 2004

* Added reference to convicted offender samples

Comment

                                             Yes   No   N/A

7.1.2 Does the laboratory maintain a chain    --   --    --
      of custody for all evidence?

Discussion

A written chain-of-custody record must include the signature or initials (written or electronic) of each individual receiving or transferring evidence, with the corresponding date for each transfer with a corresponding identifier that specifies each evidentiary item. This record must provide a comprehensive, documented history for each evidence transfer over which the laboratory has control. Electronic tracking of evidence is an acceptable alternative to a written record if the computerized data are sufficiently secure, detailed, and accessible for review and can be converted to a hard copy when necessary.

DISCUSSION HISTORY Revision 6 Issue Date July 1, 2004

* Added " (written or electronic)" to first sentence

Comment

                                                    Yes   No   N/A

7. … 

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