26 out of 28 analysts/agents have provided inaccurate statements or flawed reports to the courts in 41 states ("FBI Testimony"). This is thirteen more analysts than in the original study. According to the FBI, these analysts over exaggerated their results in courts and in reports for more than 4 decades. The cases being reviewed, are from before mitochondrial DNA was used ("FBI
In 1984 Dr. Alex Jeffreys came up with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fingerprinting, which is also known as DNA profiling or DNA typing. DNA fingerprinting is the analyzing
In Brandon L. Garrett 's book, Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong, he makes it very clear how wrongful convictions occur and how these people have spent many years in prison for crimes they never committed. Garrett presents 250 cases of innocent people who were convicted wrongfully because the prosecutors opposed testing the DNA of those convicted. Garrett provided simple statistics such as graphs, percentages, and charts to help the reader understand just how great of an impact this was.
In King, Justice Kennedy referred to the invention of DNA technology as “one of the most significant scientific advancements of our era.” This statement has been criticized, but the impact of DNA technology has been significant. Currently, forensic analysts can use “junk” DNA to identify a person with near certainty. Law enforcement can collect a person’s DNA through saliva. The sample is then uploaded to CODIS, a national network of DNA databases. Any DNA that remains in CODIS available for comparison against new samples from recently apprehended criminals and old samples from unsolved cases. This has become an invaluable tool for law
The Innocence project was founded at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of law located at Yeshiva University and is a public organization which committed itself to the exoneration of falsely convicted individuals through deoxyribonucleic acid testing. In 2004 The Innocence Project became a nonprofit organization, continuing its close affiliation with Cardozo. Since the founding of The Innocence Project it has spread throughout the nation, aiding those who have nowhere else to turn. Since the first DNA exoneration in 1989, exonerations have been won in 37 states, totaling 337 exonerations. To date more than “337 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 individuals who were at one time sentenced to death” (The Innocence Project). Out of the 337 cases where innocent men and women were wrongfully imprisoned nearly half of the true suspects were identified and convicted. The racial heritage of those who have been exonerated is fairly diverse, consisting of “206 African Americans, 104 Caucasians, 25 Latinos, and 2 Asian Americans” (The Innocence Project). (Transition) Although The Innocence Project has changed the lives of many who others would not afford them the opportunity to prove their innocence, they would not have been able to do so without the recent
Since 1992, 333 people in the United States have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated by DNA testing. Of these 333 people, 20 served time under death row. (Inn Proj) Because of this, faith in the criminal justice system is at times questioned.
An absurd amount of innocent people in the nation, have fallen victim to a disorganized legal system, and are suffering because of it. Dennis Brown, and James Harden, are two examples of this, and can relate because of it. They’ve been falsely convicted, without DNA evidence, but the truth of the case is finally revealed with their release.
The Department of Justice says, "States began passing laws requiring offenders convicted of certain offenses to provide DNA samples." That DNA evidence can help convict someone of a crime and it helps to uncover more things about the crime itself. Investigators have been using forensic science to help them solve cases since before the 90 's, mostly fingerprints that were found at the crime scenes and on the victims (O 'Brien). DNA evidence has solved countless cases including ones that happened over a prolonged period of time because of the technological advancements there is
It is a great technological innovation that can help bring evidences and fact faster. In the article The DNA Wars Are Over, “Forensic use of DNA technology in criminal cases began in 1986…In one of the first uses of DNA in a criminal case in the United States, in November 1987.” Sadly in 1985, DNA testing was not popular in the U.S. investigation and was not available in Cole’s case. I believe the U.S. court system is improving and yes there are a lot mistrials and wrongful conviction cases, but you cannot avoid the fact that DNA testing can bring better truth than just relying on statements of both
Most cases where someone has been exonerated due to DNA retesting had a problem with eyewitnesses misidentifying the suspects. This is a problem that can change someone’s life forever. Misidentification of suspects is a flaw in the criminal justice system that can be addressed through more police training and increased help from the judges.
The next topic to show why DNA testing is important to law enforcement is the unanalyzed evidence stored away hoping one day to be tested. There was a study done showing over a time frame of five years that there was about 40% of unanalyzed rape and homicide cases that had DNA evidence waiting to be tested. They suspect that there maybe a few causes for this kind of problem. These unanalyzed cases are a part of backlogs and they are terming as cases of justice denied. Some speculate that the investigating officer can be a cause of why evidence is not tested. It would be in situations where there suspect confesses to the crime so they feel there is no need to waste money and time waiting for the DNA tests to come back. Which is a little
The Innocence Project lists six primary causes of wrongful convictions exonerated by DNA evidence. The causes are eyewitness misidentification, unvalidated or improper forensic science, false confessions or admissions, government misconduct, informants, and inadequate defense. The leading cause of wrongful convictions proven by DNA evidence is eyewitness misidentification. Eyewitness misidentification was a factor in more than 70% of convictions whose rulings were reversed due to DNA testing nationwide. Throughout history, the reliability of eyewitness identification has been questioned. In 1907, Hugo Mustenberg examined the reliability of eyewitness identification in his book, “On the Witness Stand”. In a study of 65 wrongful convictions completed
One example of the use of DNA in forensic science that is important in biology today is comparing a suspect’s DNA profile to DNA that was discovered at a crime scene. This can be done by DNA fingerprinting or by collection of body fluids, such as saliva, semen, urine, blood, skin and hair, found at the scene. Secondly, DNA testing can rule out possible suspects as well. DNA testing can be used to free individuals
I completely agree with all the points you made. DNA is the most reliable source of evidence for the fact that it directly and often times unquestionably ties an individual to a crime. On the other hand, eyewitness testimonies rely on memory and as we now know that can be a problem as memory is reconstructive and that means our memories may be altered by suggestive techniques, pressure, rumor, or hearsay. Eyewitness testimonies are also particularly vulnerable to errors when the suspect’s ethnicity is different than the witness’s, leading questions are given to the witness, and when witnesses are exposed to misleading information. However, until DNA came around people were willing to dismiss results of memory research as that was the only source
Judges, lawyers, and police officers have expressed that jurors have unrealistic expectations regarding the capabilities of crime labs and their ability to produce physical evidence. In 2006, 61% of law enforcement agencies indicated that they had insufficient storage capacity, funds, technology, staff, or space especially as it relates to DNA evidence . Durnal reports that in worst cases, evidence is completely ignored or left behind because there isn’t any room to properly store it. In addition, some accounts have suggested that this greater demand has contributed to the increasing number of DNA testing backlogs in crime labs all over the country. Police officers, investigators, and laboratory workers have admitted that they feel the pressure