State v. Pappas

In State v. Pappas, 256 Conn. 854, 776 A.2d 1091 (Conn. 2001), the Supreme Court of Connecticut held that the potential for contamination certainly affects the weight of mtDNA evidence, but does not automatically render mtDNA evidence inadmissible. Id. at 1108. In State v. Pappas, the Supreme Court of Connecticut rejected the defendant's argument that, given testimony regarding heteroplasmy, the trial court should not have admitted the mtDNA analysis presented at his trial. 776 A.2d at 1109. The Pappas Court noted that (1) no evidence of heteroplasmy in either the known or questioned samples had been presented at trial, and (2) even if it had been present, heteroplasmy would result in false exclusions, not false inclusions. For these reasons, the Pappas Court held that questions about heteroplasmy may bear on the weight of mtDNA evidence, but they do not render it inadmissible. Id.