Legal Studies Essay
Breakthroughs in DNA testing have brought success to what would have otherwise been unsolved cases. DNA profiling is a technique used by many scientists and police to match DNA samples found at the scene of a crime with their respective counterparts generally found on their database. DNA profiling has helped match blood and semen samples found at the scene of a crime to the perpetrator, managing to sometimes solve cold cases that have been closed for decades. The introduction of DNA evidence has also helped to clear convicted criminals of crimes that they did not commit. However this new technology comes at a cost. DNA profiling, while highly accurate can be contaminated with other strands of DNA, or mismatched on the database and if presented in court can severely conflict with the rights of the accused to a fair trial, based on factual evidence. Fifteen years after the infamous Graeme Thorne case, in which forensic testing just started to be used, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) was asked to do a report into criminal investigations for the Attorney General after many believed that there had been a string of cases which have comprised the rights of the accused, in relation to bias on the part of the police and court system, in addition to the Guildford cases in the UK. The report concluded that no field of law could be can be expressed and reviewed without regard to relevant technology (Kirby, M 2010). In relation to DNA testing, that was just being introduced into the legal system, a British geneticist Sir Alec Jeffrey’s utilized a form of DNA profiling to be able to establish the probable identity of a criminal suspect (Fantino, J 2007). Since this discovery there has been a potent enhancement of successful criminal conviction rates, in what has essentially been a revolution of the methods used by police to make accurate investigations of the accused. In the case of Farah Jama, there was a gross...
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