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DNA Testing, Technology, Products and Services  - Article Details

DNA Fingerprinting

Date Added: July 06, 2008 07:13:08 PM
Category: DNA Fingerprinting

DNA Fingerprinting
By Kristy Annely

In criminal cases, it is the strength of the evidence against the accused that determines the outcome of the case. This is why prosecutors try their best to come up with the strongest evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant, and this is also why defense lawyers try their best to discredit the evidence of the prosecution. To help them do this, both the defense and the prosecution solicits the help of experts in analyzing evidence and in proving the veracity of the evidences in the case. In recent times, the expert that lawyers have greatly depended on with regard to the analysis of evidence is the Forensic Expert who is capable of doing DNA profiling or fingerprinting.

DNA profiling

Forensic experts who do DNA profiling are able to identify the 0.1% difference between human DNA to be able to pinpoint if the DNA material found in a crime scene matches those of the accused. This process has been proven to be very accurate and it has even been used to resolve past cases, and in some instances, it has been able to exonerate some prisoners who have been found to be innocent of the crime they have been imprisoned for in the past.

The process

The process of DNA profiling involves a process by which DNA samples from a crime scene are collected from various sources such as hair and skin cells. The DNA will then be extracted from the samples and it would be cut using different enzymes that recognize the patterns in DNA. The DNA will then be made to run through a gel where they are separated by an electric current through a process called electrophoresis. The fragments would then be compared to the other samples to determine if there is a match. This process is highly accurate in identifying whose DNA material is found in a crime scene, but it cannot tell if a person has planted the DNA material, which is why authorities do not completely rely on DNA profiling.

In recent years, DNA profiling has been successful at helping both defense lawyers and prosecutors establish or dispute the veracity of evidence. This is because it provides an accurate way of establishing whether a suspect has been at a crime scene or if the DNA of the accused is found on the victim, which can establish guilt, especially in rape cases. However, DNA profiling should not be the sole basis of establishing guilt, as there is also the possibility of DNA material being planted by the real perpetrator of a crime.

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