DNA and Civil Evidence
DNA that is also called the life’s genetic blueprint was first explained in 1953 by James D. Watson and Francis H. C. Crick. They explored the dual-helix composition of DNA, which looks like a twisted ladder, and described the role of DNA as that type of material that makes up the living organisms’ genetic code. The compounds’ pattern that comprises the DNA of a living entity form-of-life decides the growth of that form-of-life. DNA is identical in each and every cell of the body. Furthermore, no person has the similar DNA blueprint, except the identical twins.
Analysis of DNA was first projected by the English scientist Alec J. Jeffreys in 1985. In late 1980s, it was also being carried out by government agencies including the FBI and by laboratories. It was about to comparing selected parts of DNA molecules from different persons. Because a DNA molecule is created by the billions of segments, only a tiny amount of an entire genetic code is examined.
DNA evidence has been progressively more accepted by state and federal courts as acceptable evidence. The first appellate court verdict to accept DNA evidence was in 1988 (Andrews v. Florida, 533 So. 2d 841), and the first main federal court decision to accept it, occurred in Jakobetz. During the 1990s, majority of the states permitted DNA test results as acceptable evidence.
First of all it should be remembered that civil cases is such type of cases that involved Civil law that is about the disputes among two parties or individuals. (Legal-dictionary, 2010)
DNA and Civil Evidence
Example # 1: Civil cases have itself are the multidimensional aspects, in fraud cases where the alteration of documents is suspected or in practice, the collection of DNA samples from the Scene; play a key role. This collection of DNA sample could be taken from the sweat, fiber or any type of smooth surface; where is the possibility to find the sweat any other type of body fluids etc.
Example # 2: This DNA collection method could be practiced when two individuals have disputes over hitting each other car or vehicles. In these cases suspected DNA could be analyzed that at the time of accident, was the suspects driving or not.
Example # 3: In the cases of traffic signal breaking, it should be noticed that most of these incidents are held because of high speed that may cause to severe injuries or casualty(s). All these type of cases; DNA analysis could be done to identify or confirm the responsible one.
Example # 4: In the child custody cases where the suspects deny or claim about the particular child or child custody that the particular child is belong or not belong to him or her. DNA examination helps here significantly.
DNA and crime scene investigations
DNA examination may or can play a vital role to analyze, justify or alter the crime scene investigations. DNA sample could easily be collected from the body and bodily liquids and fluids such as blood, urine, saliva and semen etc to determine the alcohol level, to analyze the consensual means that sexual associates. DNA samples from hair also play vital role in examining the evidence of sexual assault etc. “The examination of such substances can not only provide clues as to the identity of the offender, but also help investigators develop a detailed picture of the sequence of events which occurred. The presence of certain bodily fluids can be excellent indicators of what has occurred”. (Forensicsciencecentral, 2010)
Now, have some discussion on the pros and cons of creating a national DNA database
- Guiltless individuals now are incarcerated for offenses they did not do; if DNA samples had been collected at the time of investigation or arrest, these guiltless people could have been proven blameless and thereby avoided imprisonment.
- Arrestees of Banking DNA as a substitute of banking that of convicted lawbreaker could/ may result in financial advantages in imprisonment, investigation and trial.
- Most of the crimes often involve individuals who also have committed other crimes and offenses. The DNA banked potentially could or might make it flexible to identify the criminal like a fingerprint databases perform
- Sensitive information, such as disease vulnerability and family relationships can be obtained from this DNA bank. Different officials and agencies using the database have access to public DNA without their permission that is the type of intrusion of personal privacy and a basic violation of civil rights
- If DNA of the public is in law enforcement agencies’ databases, they might be recognized as matches or semi-matches to the DNA that found at the incident scene(s). This happens even with guiltless people, for example, if a person had been at the scene earlier or had an identical DNA profile to the actual unlawful person (in case of Twins).
- Because of increasing cyber crime rate, there is a big chance to break the security measure of that database and cheat or destroy the information
- Studies of criminal database, which contain the DNA models of suspects, express that cultural minorities are misrepresented in the arrestees’ population, therefore, misrepresented in the DNA database bank. This ignites the concern of bias (ethnic) in the justice system.
- Suspects often are found blameless of offenses. The preservation of blameless people's DNA raises major social and ethical issues. (Ornl, 2010)
According to my viewpoint, people resist to change, therefore the resistance against DNA database is the obvious psychological effects. But the bottom line is that the DNA database will play a highly effective role to identify and mitigate the crime rate but necessary security measures will inevitable to reap the maximum and accurate benefits from this database or you may say that the DNA databank.