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DNA Errors Raise Issues in Court Proceedings

The FBI has recently made admissions about data errors in calculating DNA probabilities. These revelations have challenged the infallibility of DNA evidence. For years, DNA has enjoyed a reputation as the “forensic gold standard.” Currently, prosecutors and bureau officials state that the mistakes will have a minimal effects on criminal cases. However, the real impact remains to be seen in courtrooms across the country. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s crime-lab superintendent Vince Figarelli, these discrepancies do not amount to mismatching a certain suspect with a DNA profile. Instead, the corrected information only alters the likelihood that a DNA profile will be found within a certain population. He states that this new information could be applied retroactively by defense attorneys. Though the issue is not stressed as being alarming, it does speaks to an issue defense attorneys have argued before; that any type of scientific testing is not immune to human error. Since the release of this new information, defense attorneys have begun taking advantage of it. One day after Cudellious Love was convicted of the murder of Laura Hunding, for example, his attorney filed a motion for a new trial because the case hinged almost entirely on DNA evidence. The FBI released an official statement that stated of “over 1,100 DNA profiles used to formulate the statistics, there were 33 profiles, or less than 3%, containing discrepancies.” This means that officials believe only a small number of cases will actually be affected. Though FBI officials and prosecutors say that this issue will have little effect on cases, defense attorneys and even some DNA experts say that the errors could reveal the fallibility of DNA as the “forensic gold standard.”

Criminal Defense and DNA Evidence

If you have been charged with a crime due to DNA evidence, you may be fearful that there is no way out. Because DNA is considered infallible by many, it is easy to see why you would feel this way. However, the team at the Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix want you to know this is not true. The law is extremely complex and you should never attempt to navigate a alone. If you are facing any type of criminal charges, especially when DNA evidence is involved, call a skilled defense attorney like those at the Oswalt Law Group. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have the skill to help you build a solid defense as well as represent you in court. With us by your side, you will have the best chance at a positive resolution to your case.

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