Professor: Elaine Wilson
The importance and legal uses of DNA evidence in Criminal Investigations Tasha L. Thomas
Once a crime is committed law enforcement officers are dispatched to the scene and a criminal investigation begins immediately. The first responder to the scene begins to taper off the area and assures that nothing is touched or risk of contamination of evidence occurs, while waiting on the lead Crime Scene Investigator to arrive. Upon arrival of the crime scene investigator he or she immediately begins the investigation process. Talking to eyewitnesses, obtaining evidence and gathering as much information as possible within the first 24 hours is essential to narrowing down a suspect and building a strong case. The use of DNA Technology in the Criminal Justice system has definitely become an integral part of the entire investigation process at a crime scene. When the law enforcement, crime scene investigator and forensic teams arrive their first priority is to seal off the area to prevent contamination of any evidence or DNA left at the scene. DNA left a crime scene can consist of any of the following blood, semen, skin cells, tissue, organs, muscle, brain cells, bone, teeth, hair, saliva, mucus, perspiration, fingernails, urine, feces, etc. It can be found anywhere at the crime scene, however in order to obtain a good sample the crime scene investigator and other law enforcement officers must maintain the highest standards for the collection and preservation of the DNA evidence. They must ensure that the DNA testing methodology meets rigorous scientific criteria for reliability and accuracy. When the prosecutor is using DNA evidence in a case they want to make sure it can hold up to any scrutiny from the defense and vice versa. In retrospect DNA technology has become one of the most powerful tools used to ensure justice is served in our...
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