Orlando & Miami Criminal Lawyer
call for a free
consultation

DNA Techniques Used In Criminal Cases Come Under Fire

DNAEvidence

Most-everyone is familiar with how persuasive DNA evidence is in our modern criminal justice system. Two techniques in particular that were considered to be cutting edge—and were relied on by many jurisdictions over the last few years—have recently come under fire by agencies such as the FBI; as have the many cases and criminal convictions that they are connected to.

While both techniques have now been phased out and replaced with new technology, the lab that developed them indicated that thousands of cases over the years are connected to the techniques. One of these techniques is known as the Forensic Statistical Tool (FST), which tests DNA when it is present in mixed substances found at crimes scenes. The other—known as “low copy number analysis”—tests for trace DNA amounts by multiplying the sample. The FBI has now labeled both of these methods “inconclusive and unreliable.”

The Problem

Unfortunately, the lab is the largest DNA crime lab in all of North America, and tests approximately 40,000 items per year in criminal cases, ranging from weapons possessions to murder, rape, and assault.

It is problematic to place evidence which DNA experts cannot agree on in front of a law jury precisely because of the weight that juries give DNA evidence in general, regardless of any specific disputes in the field. In court testimony, one former lab official reported being fired for criticizing one of the methods, while another (expert) witness who examined the software source behind the other technique concluded that its accuracy should be “seriously questioned.” 

Early Warning Signs Ignored

Reportedly, the medical examiner’s office knew there were problems for some time, but decided to quietly correct them instead of notifying anyone. Some also believe that the lab manipulated data and made false statements to the Commission on Forensic Sciences, which oversees the labs.

The question now becomes: what is to be done with the thousands of criminal cases affected by the use of the disputed analysis methods? If an investigation is launched and finds flaws with the analysis, it could prompt an avalanche of litigation, particularly since the concern is not only for those cases where potentially false evidence has led to wrongful convictions, but also led defendants to enter into guilty pleas where strong scientific evidence existed in the case.

Work With Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

It is more important than ever to ensure that any scientific evidence used in criminal trials is accurate. That means working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who takes a close look at any DNA analysis involved in a case and ensures that the defense runs its own tests and works with its own experts.

At the Baez Law Firm, we have a reputation for providing the very best in criminal defense representation. For assistance with any criminal defense questions, contact our firm today. We serve clients throughout Florida and Massachusets, and your initial consultation is free.

Resources:

niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/dna-lab-techniques-now-under-fire/article_0749f1f2-02d9-5853-8f86-47e2f5c74d54.html

scroll.in/article/849767/thousands-were-convicted-in-criminal-cases-in-new-york-using-a-dna-technique-that-is-now-disputed

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
Miami Office

Miami Office

40 SW 13th St, Suite 901
Miami, FL 33130
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111
Orlando Office

Orlando Office

23 South Osceola Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625
Miami Office

Boston Office

6 Beacon Street, Suite 510
Boston, MA 02108
Office: 800-588-BAEZ
Orlando Office

Massachusetts Office

66 North 2nd Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Office: 800-588-BAEZ

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

Captcha Image

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2017 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab