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Ways your DNA evidence might be compromised

According to a 2013 news release from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in 2012, the FBI started a review of more than 21,000 cases using microscopic hair comparison in cases before 2000. The NACDL asserts that there are many problems within the forensic science system and believes the system should be overhauled. Although many organizations are working on this very problem, in the meantime, you have to deal with the current laws. If you've been charged with a crime, it's important to talk to your attorneys about the different ways DNA evidence might be compromised. Here are a few ways it could be contaminated:

● Heat exposure

● Mixed with other samples

● Crime lab errors

● Exposure to water

● Direct sunlight exposure

● Another person could sneeze on it or touch it without gloves

● Incorrect collection procedures

Researchers in Australia have studied different scenarios concerning inadvertent DNA transfer. In one case, they had a volunteer touch a toy for a minute, then rubbed that toy onto another piece of clothing. The volunteer's DNA was found on the piece of clothing without ever having touched the item. In another study, they illustrated it is easy for DNA to transfer between items while being transported to the lab. A German study of the laboratory surfaces revealed that the surfaces were not as clean as presumed. In one of the cases, DNA from more than one person was transferred from the surface of the lab table to the cadaver. This could cause confusion, especially when tiny amounts of DNA are examined.

Don't believe the lab

Crime lab errors are another possibility. In one case, two reference samples were switched at the crime lab. It was an inadvertent error, but the mistake could have been costly for one of the claimants facing life in prison for rape. Had the mistake not been caught, the wrong person would have gone to jail for an extensive period of time. Recently, labs in different parts of the country were determined to have made intentional errors. Joyce Gilchrist, who participated in more than 3,000 cases in her 21-year career in Oklahoma City, came under fire for mishandling samples. Technicians at a lab in Philadelphia were also found to have mishandled evidence. This phenomenon is growing for many different reasons, such as understaffing, trying to close cases and the belief that police already have the right suspect.

Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys is here to help. We want to make sure proper procedure was followed throughout every aspect of your case. Forensic science is much different from what you see on television. You deserve to have the evidence in your case reviewed by an unbiased professional and for someone to advocate for you in a court of law. Don't be convicted by DNA evidence that might have been compromised. Find out the truth before you go to jail.

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