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Touch DNA: How DNA May Implicate an Innocent Person at the Scene of a Crime

The field of forensic science has held significant sway over the last few decades, especially as technology has progressed rapidly. This sudden technological boom shed light on well-known, supported forensic theories and led to ever-growing scrutiny of the science that we have spent years putting forth as truth. DNA evidence, once considered a god-send to the forensic science field, has been under significant scrutiny as the consequences of using DNA evidence has had both positive and negative impacts on the criminal justice system.

The Truth Behind the Fallibility of DNA Evidence

DNA evidence, ever under the public microscope, has revealed serious gaps in the science that have shattered preconceived notions that DNA evidence is full-proof. One serious issue that has gone under inquiry has been the easily-transferable nature of DNA evidence; in other words, where DNA evidence is inadvertently planted at a scene of a crime due to DNA skin cells ability to move easily. Recently, there was a case surrounding a homeless man who was charged for the murder of a multimillionaire. He had an alibi for the murder: he was found in a comatose state and had been hospitalized. The paramedics, who had aided him earlier in the night, went to the scene where the multimillionaire was found dead, and had inadvertently brought the homeless man’s DNA cells with them. It was later hypothesized that the paramedics had the man’s DNA cells on their uniforms and that was the method by which they had brought the cells with them to the scene of the crime.

Touch DNA and its Effect on the Criminal Justice System

This type of trace evidence where skin cells are able to implant themselves on objects is known as touch DNA. Growing evidence has shown the likelihood that DNA does in fact move, and does not stay in once place, as previously thought. According to a study published in the International Journal of Legal Medicine, a person who touched an object after, for example, shaking hands with another person, can actually put the second person’s DNA on the object, even though he or she had never even touched it.

According to another study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, the person who never even touched the object, for example the murder weapon, may be considered the main contributor to the DNA pool found on the weapon, solely due to this type of transference. This is also due to the fact that we individually shed DNA skin cells at different rates and a person who sheds more skin cells will have a stronger DNA presence when analyzed in the laboratory.

One More Critique Against DNA Evidence Being Considered “Truth”

Touch DNA has aided in bolstering critique that is coming against DNA evidence. DNA evidence, at one point, seemed infallible, providing prosecutors clean-cut cases to serve on a silver platter. But as more and more research is performed on DNA evidence and the extent in which it is credible, it is becoming more obvious that it is not as a full proof as originally described. This is just one more study that shows the serious defects in DNA evidence and why this type of evidence should be considered just another circumstantial piece of evidence, rather than the smoking gun.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

Touch DNA is another example of how an innocent person may be charged with a criminal felony. With more and more studies showing the unreliability of DNA evidence, there is room to prove that you are, in fact, innocent and that DNA evidence is not always right.   It is important to speak with an experienced defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik who can guide you through the criminal justice system and advocate on your behalf. Contact Kevin J. Kulik today for a free and confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area.

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