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New DNA Research Could Improve the Criminal Justice System and Help Exonerate Defendants

Sometimes it is the smallest things that can have the biggest impact, especially when it comes to evidence and putting defendants on trial. DNA evidence and forensic evidence has had a significant impact on the way that cases are investigated and evidence is admitted in criminal proceedings. With the progress of technology, forensic science has made leaps and bounds into not only finding the criminal defendants who committed a crime, but more significantly, exonerating those who did not.

DNA Research Study

The science of forensics has been advancing for years, and more recently, scientists have been able to analyze a crime scene, evaluate a sample of dust and microbes, sequence the DNA make up of these samples and determine where the samples actually come from. To help contribute to this, 1,000 U.S. citizens nationwide took the time to swab their door frames. The dust, fungi, and microbes that came from these swabs all over the country permitted scientists to identify and index over 40,000 fungal taxa. It was estimated that each sample sent in from the doorframe had up to 700 types of fungal taxa accumulated.

Purpose of the Research

The purpose of this research was to identify what types of fungal taxa lived where, in hopes that any forensic evidence found at a crime scene could provide an inference based on the presence (or absence) of the fungal taxa as to the location of the actual crime, if not at the spot where the crime ended.

Relevance of this Research

The information, once the data has been fully aggregated, evaluated, and sampled, could provide significant help to law enforcement when attempting to investigate and solve a crime. More specifically, when a body is found and the investigation has begun, law enforcement may be able to test the dust and microbes surrounding the body and the area to determine if the crime happened in the place where the body was found, where the victim may be from, and if the victim was moved and left at the scene after he/she had been murdered elsewhere.

The research has shown to be quite effective. Since beginning the research and testing all the accumulated samples, scientists were able to get within 143 miles of the origin of the microbes around 50 percent of the time, and about 5 percent of the time the scientists were able to get within 35 miles of the origin of the microbes.

Use of Forensic Science to Exonerate and Solve Cold Cases

Though microbes, dust, and pollen DNA have not been used yet by law enforcement to solve cases where the body has been moved from the place where he/she was actually killed, there are plenty of famous incidences where DNA and other forensic evidence solved cold cases. The following are two famous examples:

  • The Lindbergh kidnapping: the police tracked the marked bills that had been left as part of the ransom for the Lindbergh’s baby who had been kidnapped. The bills led the police to Bruno Hauptmann, who stated that the money was from a friend. Evidence showed that the wood from the ladder outside the Lindbergh’s home used to kidnap the baby was wood from Hauptmann’s attic.
  • Ted Bundy: Ted Bundy was identified due to a bite-mark that he had left on one of his victims which distinctly matched his unique, jagged, crooked teeth. In addition, fibers from the girl were found in Ted Bundy’s van.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

DNA evidence is extremely important in criminal proceedings and could help exonerate innocent defendants. It is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik if you believe that DNA evidence may be relevant to your case. Contact Kevin J. Kulik today for a free and confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area.

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