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Is DNA reliable evidence?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2019 | Criminal Defense

The legal community once saw DNA as the miracle evidence that could solve any case in an instant. You would believe that as technology got better, it would make DNA evidence even more useful. In reality, the opposite has happened. DNA is not the amazing evidence it once was. Many experts find serious flaws with it, which makes it less reliable than it was once thought to be. If the Texas prosecution bases its case against you primarily on DNA, then you should arm yourself with information about the failings of this type of evidence.

Original intentions

The Atlantic explains that the original purposes and conditions of DNA sampling and use as evidence in criminal proceedings do not match what is in use today. Technicians used to do DNA testing with a large sample of bodily fluid. It compared two samples against each other. Today, though, experts try to use small samples and sometimes compare multiple samples against each other. This is not the intended use, and it introduces room for error.

Problems with transfer

Using small samples to get DNA can lead to serious transfer issues. Transfer occurs when someone brings outside DNA into a crime scene. You could even leave your DNA at a scene if you were there days earlier. Transfer issues can happen very easily, especially when dealing with small samples.

Additional complications

The problems do not stop there with DNA. Some other issues that make samples useless include:

  • Incorrect testing procedures
  • Failure to read results correctly
  • Collection and storage issues

The big problem is that juries see false information about DNA on TV and in movies that lead them to believe that DNA is 100% accurate. They will convict you on DNA evidence alone because they do not know any better.

So, not only is DNA evidence not always reliable, but it can also be dangerous evidence. Every aspect of any DNA presented against you requires complete scrutiny.