Enhancing the Power of DNA as an Investigative Tool

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DNA is a double helix molecule that contains information that is used to make up a person’s body. DNA controls every aspect of a person’s body from their eye and hair color, height, and other features. DNA’s specific and unique characteristic can be crucial when solving a crime. DNA can be used to convict a suspect or exonerate an innocent person. When DNA is found it is even more important that is handle properly to ensure proper identification and accuracy of testing. The evolution of DNA technology is vital to the process of solving crimes, however the process by which DNA is found and handle can jeopardize its powerfulness. The discovery of the structure of DNA opened the realm of DNA technology which changed the way crimes can be solved. In order to understand the importance of DNA in a crime, the structure of DNA needed to be revealed first. One of the most important discoveries in history was the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953 (Liras, 2008). This remarkable molecule contained genetic information that can be highly useful in solving a crime. DNA is the basic unit of life. The molecule uses the arrangement of bases and forms into a double helix. This arrangement contains information and instruction for the development of the body. DNA defines each of our individual characteristics therefore making it very unique. The “arrangement of these bases in each DNA molecule is different for everyone except identical twins” (Wilson, Foreman & Asplen, 1999) and this is the key to the importance of DNA evidence. DNA is everywhere in the body and remains the same and that makes DNA a very important biological evidence. The individualistic characteristic is a key feature of DNA that assists in solving... ... middle of paper ... ...ght crime, but funding sources can slow the process. If funding is not available for states to reduce their current offender backlogs, databases will remain unavailable to aid law enforcement with criminal investigations. . It is up to the criminal justice system is to realize the “full potential of DNA evidence as a crime fighting tool” (Wilson, Forman, & Asplen 1999), efforts must be made both to solve the database backlog of today and to promote DNA evidence use throughout all levels of law enforcement. As criminals become cleverer, evidence like DNA becomes even more important. The discovery of DNA has truly helped in solving crimes and has proven to be vital evidence. However it can not be as powerful as it should if not handled or tested properly. DNA technology is still advancing and only time will time will reveal what will be available in the future.

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