Does Lawyer's Failure to Call DNA Expert Constitutes Ineffective Assistance ?
In People v. Mehlberg, 249 Ill. App. 3d 499, 188 Ill. Dec. 598, 618 N.E.2d 1168 (1993), DNA evidence was the key to the State's evidence against the defendant in an aggravated criminal sexual assault prosecution. the Appellate Court, Fifth District, held that defense counsel's failure to call a DNA expert did not constitute ineffective assistance because counsel cross-examined the State's experts and challenged the evidence in his closing argument.
Such tactics were considered "within the wide range of reasonable professional conduct." Mehlberg, 249 Ill. App. 3d at 546.
The court held that, although the testimony of a defense expert may be more effective than a defense counsel's cross-examination and closing argument challenging DNA test results, counsel's failure to produce such an expert does not render his or her assistance ineffective. Mehlberg, 249 Ill. App. 3d at 546-47.