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DNA in the Criminal Justice System as Evidence

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DNA in the Criminal Justice System as Evidence

The Tale of the DNA

Our criminal justice system is best described as a search for the truth. Increasingly, the forensic use of DNA technology is an important ally in that search. The development of DNA technology furthers the search for truth by helping police and prosecutors in the fight against violent crime. Through the use of DNA evidence, prosecutors are often able to conclusively establish the guilt of a defendant. DNA evidence offers prosecutors important new tools for the identification and apprehension of some of the most violent perpetrators, particularly in cases of sexual assault. DNA aids the search for exonerating the innocent. Lets take Dennis Fritz for instance. As mentioned in the article, Innocent, After Proven Guilty by Adam Cohen in the TIME magazine, Fritz was an average father from Oklahoma who led a normal life as a single parent raising his thirteen-year-old daughter. He made a living teaching science to Junior High School students at the time he was convicted of raping and murdering his neighbor, twenty-one-year old Debra Sue Carter. The evidence against Fritz was vague. "He had no eyewitnesses, no evidence linking him to the victim and no credible evidence linking him to the crime scene." But he was misjudged by the odds. What he didn't realize is there were other players working against him and found himself in a situation where he had everything to lose, " convicted criminal, wasting away in jail with little hope of ever proving his innocence." Ron Williamson, Fritz co-defendant, was days away from being executed and put to death. He was retried due to a small technicality. Prosecutors then decided to do DNA test on both Fritz and Williamson of semen and hair found at the crime scene. As a result, the DNA proved them both innocent. ...

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