reply to post by Kryties
The failing is with the courts acceptance of DNA evidence. A field that is constantly evolving and that has finally gained widespread acceptance in
the court system (it like the difference between a DataMaster and a Portable Breath Test /PBT - A DataMaster is a calibrated instrument where most PBT
are not. hence why DataMaster results can be used and a PBT result cant).
The other issue revolves around how advanced DNA testing is now as opposed to 25 years ago.
Back in the day in order to use blood to establish certain crimes, the size needed was about the size of a quarter to half dollar. Now days, with the
advance of technology, only a small amount is needed to obtain results. The advancement also no longer requires dry blood to be re-hydrated in order
to test. Before, to pull dried blood it would need to be rehydrated with distilled water. The water used would also have to be submitted as a
control to make sure there was nothing in the water that could affect the sample.
So those who were convicted decades ago were done so using the best methods at the time. With the advance in technology, and in cases where there is
a claim of innocence coupled with biological samples that are preserved to the point they can still be tested, there is the possibility of reviewing
that evidence with the new methods.
The problem comes down to cost sadly. When the PA obtains a conviction using everything available at the time, should they be required to pay for
testing of evidence?
Currently from my experience I have not seen any new state laws / court rulings that require DNA testing to be done, although it is brought up in
court by the defense more often now than 25 years ago.
In my region submitting a blood sample to the crime lab can take upwards of 9 months to a year to obtain results. Its not that the testing takes
long, its just there are that many evidence process requests in the same category.
The other issue in that area is defense attorneys are issuing subpoenas to crime lab officials who processed the evidence. There are requirements /
advanced training they are required to have in addition to certain ways evidence must be processed. That adds further to the back log.
Personally speaking I think if the state is going to lay charges, and DNA is an option, I think it should be required it be tested.
The flip side to this issue - The only way DNA can clear a person is if the person's DNA is on file already. If its not, they would need to submit a
sample to compare with the DNA collected at the crime scene. Since they are being charged, they are not required to provide blood samples / DNA
Its a convoluted mess to be sure..
edit on 10-4-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)