The first state appellate court decision which upheld the admission of DNA evidence was in 1988, and by the mid-1990’s most state courts allowed DNA test results into evidence. It is now seen as the holy grail of forensic evidence, and criminal justice shows on TV such as CSI and Forensic Files have created a false impression on jurors related to the reliability and unassailability of forensic science, including DNA. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the CSI effect.
DNA evidence remains a hotly contested issue throughout the United States criminal justice system, and doubts about the reliability of DNA in all cases certainty still exist. While both prosecutors and law enforcement personnel are eager to use DNA evidence as a tool to prove guilt, defense attorneys are frequently put into the position of arguing in court that DNA is not 100% reliable and can lead to wrongful convictions of innocent people.
The prosecution will argue that DNA evidence is more reliable than other forensic science such as fingerprints, and DNA evidence is often more available in criminal investigations than evidence like fingerprints. Bodily fluids, skin, and hair can be more easily left behind than fingerprints, and DNA evidence does not “degrade” (decay or disappear over time) as quickly as other forensic evidence can. While most defense attorneys fully accept the science behind DNA evidence, their concerns lie in the fact that DNA evidence can be rendered unreliable through contamination from improper police procedures or faulty lab work. There are countless examples of forensic lab error throughout the United States, in labs such as Houston, North Carolina, and Detroit. So there is no question that errors occur when a lab declares a DNA match, and that the random match probabilities generated by laboratories (one in 100 trillion) are skewed by incorrect assumptions about the population’s genetic variations. After all, the day before I was born there was likely a one on 100 quadrillion chance of someone existing on the earth with my DNA profile at the 13 loci tested, and the day after I was born that random match probability remained 1 in 100 quadrillion. And yet I am here, so why is the world so ready to believe that it is impossible for someone with the same profile is out there?
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Why Your Attorney’s Knowledge Of DNA Is Critical
DNA evidence can be collected from a crime scene through blood, saliva, skin cells, hair or semen, and, like any other forensic evidence can link you to a crime and/or crime scene. Because DNA evidence is so prevalent in the news today, it is imperative that your attorney have the background and knowledge to understand exactly what DNA evidence means in your specific case. Furthermore, DNA evidence can be used to exonerate someone as well as to convict them, so having an attorney who understands the scientific intricacies of DNA is crucial.
The law firm of Satawa Law has a wide range of experience regarding DNA cases, and Mark Satawa has successfully defended scores of scientifically and medically intensive criminal allegations involving DNA evidence. Mark Satawa was the first attorney to have PCR/STR DNA testing declared inadmissible when defending a 2nd degree murder charge in Flint. He has lectured all over Michigan to countless bar associations on defending cases involving DNA cases, including the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the State Bar of Michigan, Cooley Law School, the Wayne County Criminal Advocacy Program, and County Bar Associations in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, and Genesee Counties. Mr. Satawa is widely recognized throughout the country as a national expert on DNA issues.
If your life is hanging on the thread of DNA, doesn’t it just make sense to hire a criminal defense attorney who has the necessary experience and understanding of the science? The attorneys of Satawa Law are committed to aggressively defending your criminal charges, and will use the science of DNA to your advantage if at all possible. Don’t trust your life and your freedom to an attorney with no expertise in DNA evidence — take control of your future and call Satawa Law.
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Our team of Southfield lawyers are ready to help defend your rights and protect your future. We never judge or assume; rather, we immediately start to try and determine the best way to win that case. We do that while providing our clients with the empathetic and compassionate guidance they need to get through this difficult time.
We have won the majority of the many cases we have defended at trial, and can use our extensive experience and experience to help you as well. Do not wait for the police or prosecutors to make the first move. Speak with our Southfield defense team now, and allow us to put our knowledge, skill, and expertise to good use.
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