DNA the Emergence Research Paper

Pages: 3 (1013 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Genetics

It is now possible to perform DNA testing with a very small sample, something that was not possible when the technique rose to prominence in the forensic business. The legality of the testing being a state issue, the environment for it is quite complex. Prisoners need to understand their state laws -- some prisoners would at this point have no access to DNA testing that could exonerate them. However, by identifying that the person who has been convicted was not the person who was at the crime, it is possible to exonerate people who have been wrongly convicted, and therefore to have the conviction overturned.

2. It is not possible to determine how successful this is compared with the number of cases. The important number of cases here is the number of people who have been wrongly convicted -- that is the denominator when considering the success rate. How many wrongful convictions are discovered is a function of how many there were in the first place, not a function of the testing. If there were no wrongful convictions, the testing would find nothing even if the test was 100% effective. So the reality is there is "success rate" that can be determined because the denominator is unknown.

What is known is that dozens of people have been exonerated through the use of post-conviction DNA testing. There are more such cases that the general public perhaps realizes, and the fact that there were 17 cases on death row should be enough to give anybody pause for thought.

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The success of DNA testing in exoneration therefore needs to be considered in non-numerical terms. Success would have to be measured in the number of jurisdictions who allow this procedure. This would bring about validation of post-conviction DNA testing, and the right of prisoners to seek exoneration. While 49 states allow for post-conviction DNA testing, many place limits on the practice. Statutes of limitations in particular present a barrier to those who were convicted years ago. Yet it is those convicts who would benefit the most from the technique.

Research Paper on DNA the Emergence of DNA Assignment

Thus, while there have been some successes with gaining recognition for the value of post-conviction DNA testing, there is still work to be done with respect to ensuring the use of the technique. Exoneration is something that should have no statute of limitations, as those would only reduce the ability of those wrongfully convicted to seek justice and remedy.

Works Cited:

ACLU. (2011). DNA testing and the death penalty. American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.aclu.org/capital-punishment/dna-testing-and-death-penalty

Lithwick, D. (2012). The exoneration of Bennett Barbour. Slate Magazine. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2012/03/bennett_barbour_exonerated_of_rape_in_virginia_how_the_state_is_botching_the_dna_retesting_and_notification_of_old_cases.html

Mears, B. (2013). DNA tests after arrest? Some justices not so sure. CNN. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/26/justice/supreme-court-dna

Michaels, M. (2012). 33 convicted of sex crimes could be exonerated by Virginia DNA project. Mint Press News. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from http://www.mintpressnews.com/33-convicted-of-sex-crimes-could-be-exonerated-by-virginia-dna-project/ [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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