Is Your DNA The Best Evidence That Could Make Or Break The Criminal Case Against You?
Is DNA really a strong piece of evidence as what the authorities and the media portray it to be?
Apparently, it is not due to a few of the current instances of DNA putting the blame on the wrong individual. DNA is reputed to be the gold standard for identifying criminal suspects, such that the FBI and police departments throughout the U.S. started assembling databases. However, in light of the inaccuracies discovered, the claim of DNA being the so-called “gold standard” is up for debate. An experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney knows this and will use it to his advantage in order to help his client.
How Does DNA Fail as Evidence?
There are a number of methods in which DNA evidence is failing to meet expectations. DNA fabrication, DNA transference, as well as DNA screening mistakes, can bring about unreliable outcomes concerning DNA evidence.
No person likes horrendous crimes and its terrible impact on society. As such, working with one of the best Arizona criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you will not be wrongfully charged with a criminal offense.
Transference DNA issues have actually long been a problem. In 2013, Lukis Anderson of San Jose, California spent 5 months behind bars when his DNA had been found underneath the fingernails of killed millionaire, Raveesh Kumra. Mr. Anderson’s DNA was in the databank because he had previously been convicted of a felony in California. What’s more, Anderson had been convicted of a felony robbery. Seems like an open and shut case. However for Mr. Anderson it was 5 taken months of his life. Anderson’s lawyer got copies of his medical records because she thought that his medical history might help him get a more lenient sentence. When she received the records, she realized that she had hit the jackpot: the records showed that Anderson had been admitted to the hospital on November 29, having drunk the equivalent of 21 beers, and was not discharged until the next morning. It was impossible for him to have committed the murder – he was in the hospital when it happened. He had an airtight alibi. It turned out that Kumar’s body had been in the same ambulance and dealt with the same paramedics on the same day that Anderson had. No one knows exactly how the DNA transfer happened. It is possible that it was transferred on the clothes of the paramedic, or that the two men shared the same finger pulse oximeter. But for the good luck that the records existed and the good work of his lawyer, Anderson could easily have been convicted of Kumar’s murder. As it turned out, the charges were dropped but he will certainly never get back the five months of his life wasted in prison.
While DNA can be a great tool to prove that someone was wrongly convicted, it can also easily be misinterpreted and lead to wrongful convictions, as almost happened in the case of Lukis Anderson.
An experienced forensic DNA Analyst for Strand Diagnostics and the University of Indianapolis named Cynthia Cale wrote about the issue in the scientific journal, Nature.
” We have discovered that it is fairly uncomplicated for an innocent individual’s DNA to be accidentally transferred to surface areas that she or he has actually never got in contact with. This can implicate innocent people in crime scenes they never ever gone to or connect them to tools they never ever touched.”, Cale wrote in a letter.
Chilling without a doubt. Any person can discover themselves charged of a terrible criminal activity that they really did not do and be at the mercy of the justice system. Their only hope ends up is being defended by an excellent criminal defense attorney that is thoroughly knowledgeable in the complexities of DNA evidence and how to reveal that the proof is simply incorrect.
“These subtleties are not usually explained in court. Instead, a jury is told that there is a one-in-a-quadrillion chance that the evidence retrieved from the crime scene did not come from a defendant. Naturally, the jurors assume that the defendant must have been there,” Cale further added in her letter.
This problem is specifically worrying since jurors do not have the history in genetics as well as no understanding on how DNA is processed within the system from collection to screening. It is quite clear once the system is researched that there is a much better opportunity for a mistake than 1 in a quadrillion. A great criminal defense attorney understands this and recognizes just how to describe this in court.
What Are Other Problems on DNA Evidence?
This is simply one among the issues with DNA forensic proof. There are 2 various other relevant issues with DNA evidence and they are not as usual as DNA transference, they are critical enough to recognize. These are DNA fabrication and errors in DNA screening.
- DNA Fabrication
DNA fabrication is the act of producing a DNA profile. In 2009, researchers in Israeli released a paper in the journal Forensic Scientific International: Genetics outlining just how simple it was to produce a phony DNA account. As a matter of fact, they are known in the paper as claiming that any kind of undergraduate Biology pupil might make a phony DNA account that might permit proof to be planted at a criminal offense scene.
” DNA is a lot easier to plant at a crime scene than fingerprints,” claimed Tina Simoncelli of the American Civil Liberties Union. “We’re creating a criminal justice system that is increasingly relying on this technology.”
- DNA Checking Mistakes
The threat of DNA screening mistakes is there. As DNA breaks down, there are less and less markers readily available. DNA analysts seek 13 markers to determine if a sample matches forensic evidence. When all 13 markers are readily available, there is a one in quadrillion opportunity of a false positive match. Sadly, all 13 markers are not constantly available. As a matter of fact when just 5 of the markers are established, the possibility of false positive can drop as low as 1 in 3.
Even more scary is that a 2006 research study in Illinois compared 220,000 DNA profiles from its Sex Offender Database and discovered 903 sets that matched 9 various markers. That is close to a 1 in 200 opportunity of a false positive. There are people on death row from DNA evidence with less markers matched to the forensic evidence in their cases.
Should I Work With Any Kind of Lawyer?
If you have actually been charged of a violent crime and if they state they have unquestionable DNA evidence against you, it is very important to speak with an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney that is well-versed in top-level cases and will certainly safeguard your civil rights. You also need to be familiar with the issues of DNA forensic evidence. Scientists concur that DNA may only be used in court if there are eye witness accounts or other physical evidence. The seasoned criminal defense attorneys at Howard Snader Law will challenge DNA evidence and fight for your freedom.