DNA evidence is only really been available for the last few decades. It has revolutionized the court process and the way that the authorities handle a lot of different criminal cases. DNA evidence is generally considered to be incredibly trustworthy and it can often prove whether or not someone was at the scene of the crime.
We’ve learned a lot about this type of evidence over the years, but there’s one big thing that needs to be considered when looking at criminal cases: DNA evidence shows that witnesses are often wrong.
How do we know this?
It’s impossible to say exactly how many people have been falsely convicted over the years, but we can look at the rates at which these convictions have been overturned. We can also look at why the convictions don’t hold up under closer scrutiny.
In the majority of cases – up to 75%, according to researchers at the Innocent Project, who have been studying the data for years – those who have been wrongly convicted were identified by a witness, but were then later cleared by DNA evidence. Since this happened so often, we know that witness testimony is not that reliable. The inference from this is that there are many more people who have also been falsely convicted due to a witness who was wrong, but that the DNA evidence simply doesn’t exist to clear them.
Exploring your options
You certainly do not want to be falsely convicted of something that you never did all because of witness makes a mistake. If you’re facing serious charges, you must know how this process works and what legal options you have.