BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has ruled that criminal defendants cannot present evidence of DNA matches to other suspects at trial unless the results have been confirmed by more testing.

In a ruling filed last week, the Maryland Court of Appeals said defense attorneys in the state have the same burden as prosecutors when presenting DNA testing.

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The court’s ruling upholds the conviction of two Montgomery County men on charges including attempted murder and burglary in a home invasion in 2009. Both men are serving life sentences.

At trial, one of the men’s attorneys wanted to present evidence that DNA found at the scene was consistent with that of two other men.

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But in last week’s ruling, the high court found the attorney didn’t confirm the DNA was a match through additional testing, as required by Maryland law.

The law, enacted in 1994, states that a “match obtained between an evidence sample and a database entry may be used only as probable cause and is not admissible at trial unless confirmed by additional testing.”

Defense attorneys had argued that the statute was meant to apply only to the person being put on trial, which the high court rejected, finding that, “the reliability of a DNA match is important whether the match relates to the accused or to some third party.”

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