Research Paper: DNA in Criminal Justice System

Pages: 5 (1422 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Cole (1997) states, that FBI began DNA testing for trails in 1988. There have been 12,000 cases reported since then till 1997. However, FBI pointed out that out of these 12,000, almost a quarter of the suspects in these cases was exonerated. Till 1997, DNA examiners have testified in about 600 trials for DNA as evidence to prove the suspect guilty.

Jury is a very essential part of any trial. If the jury is aware of the importance of DNA, then it has greater chances of a fair trial. An expert presentation should be given to the jury in the trials which contains DNA evidence. The understanding of DNA by juror enhances their knowledge. Strong DNA evidence also increases the conviction rate of a trial. In Australian trials, six topics were covered in jury presentation about DNA. These topics were structure of DNA, alleles and its measurements, laboratory processing of DNA, profile interpretation; random probability match and its significance and DNA match (Goodman-Delahunty & Hewson, 2012). The scientific opinion on DNA can only be given by a scientific person with specified knowledge and training. This can ensure the fair trial (Gans & Urbas,, 2002).

DNA Matching

DNA matching is essential for any trial that has DNA as evidence. DNA databases have been developed to compare the DNA collected at different crime scenes. It not only gathers new DNA samples but also matches them with the ones already present in the database. There are three types of uses of DNA matching when DNA is preserved as evidence. It is used to test any prior contact of the victim with the suspect at a point of time before the crime. Secondly, it is used to identify a corpse of a mutilated body of the victim. Thirdly it is used to compare profiles of two crime samples i.e. To see if the crime a form of serial crime or just a one-time crime. It identifies if a common person was involved in two separate crimes (Gans & Urbas,, 2002).

Conclusion

DNA as evidence preserves time and leads the investigation towards the right direction. It prevents the investigators to investigate a wrong person. It is also cost effective and creates a link between crime and suspect which could eventually lead to the conviction and punishment of the criminal. Many innocent convicted people have been brought to justice only due to the presence of DNA testing or DNA matching at some other crime scene or late display of evidence. However, there is always a chance of evidence tempering when DNA is involved as evidence. Extensive use of DNA as evidence in Australia and USA has led to unquantifiable cost and reduction of person's privacy as well as individual's freedom (Gans & Urbas,, 2002). There are sometimes wrong or misleading results from the DNA testing but it cannot prevent the extensive usage of DNA as evidence.

We can conclude that despite all disadvantages and complication. DNA has proved to be a very efficient and essential in many trials. It is one of the reliable forensic evidence that has brought justice to wrongly suspected or convicted people. If DNA is preserved in a proper way and is not tempered with, then it can be the main evidence which can solve cases like murder, abduction and rape. It is one of the best tools to identify the body. Thus, improving the quality of DNA testing and presenting it in a way the even a layman can understand it, will lead to more fair trials and bring justice to the victims.

Bibliography

Briody, M. (2004, Aug). The Effects of DNA Evidence on Homicide Cases in Court. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 37(2), 231.

Clarke, G. ." (2007). Justice and Science: Trials and Triumphs of DNA Evidence. New Brunswick: Rutgers Univerrsity Press.

Cohen, H. (2003). DNA Evidence on Trial. The Scientist, 17(16), 62.

Cole, B. (1997, December 22). Issue of DNA Evidence Comes Up in Martinez Case. Daily Herald, p. 11.

Dr. Mandal, A.M. (2012). What is DNA? Retrieved Dec 2012, from News Medical: http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-DNA.aspx

Gahn, L. (2005, March). DNA Evidence Collection Procedures. Law & Order, 53(3), p. 72.

Gans, J., & Urbas,, G.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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