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History of Dna Testing In Criminal Cases

The scientific concept of DNA, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, as generic building blocks of all living things, has been studied for over 60 years. In 1985 a professor at the University of Leicester, Alec Jeffreys, was able to validate the uniqueness of personalized DNA material in each person’s skin, body fluids, blood, nails and hair. Outside of identical twins, no two people have the same DNA pattern.

<strong>Crime Solving Before DNA</strong>
Law enforcement agencies and criminal evaluation laboratories welcomed the use of DNA technology as a major aid in being able to isolate alleged suspects with forensic evidence collected at crime scenes. Prior to the use of DNA, criminal identification relied heavily on fingerprints, shoe prints, blood, or other evidence that a suspect may have left behind during a crime. The older way of using evidence to solve crimes would often provide a potential population pool of possible suspects.

<strong>Crime Solving With DNA</strong>
DNA testing is able to bring the pool of potential suspects down to one alleged offender or another member of the individual’s family who would have similar DNA. The process of matching a suspect’s DNA with DNA found at a crime scene has provided both law enforcement and court officials with a higher probability of convicting the criminal offenders.

<strong>First Criminal Cases Using DNA</strong>
DNA was first used in a criminal case in England in 1986. DNA samples collected from the men living and working within the neighborhood of two rape and murder scenes resulted in two positive outcomes. The one man original convicted was proved to be innocent and the guilty criminal was caught. One year later, DNA was first used in a United States criminal case in Florida. The forensic evidence collected from a rape victim was positively matched to a suspect’s DNA and when presented in court, the suspect was found guilty of the crime.

<strong>Forensic Benefits of DNA Usage</strong>
Unlike blood found at a crime scene, DNA material remains usable for an endless period of time. DNA technology is used on decomposed human remains to identify the victims. DNA is also used to reverse prior convictions when DNA was not available. A positive DNA match presents a likely probability for personal identification. However, a negative DNA match is a solid conclusion that the samples came from two separate individuals,


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