DNA-Is it fair or unfair to use for or against citizens charged with crimes?

Essay by JanChaffinsCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2002

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As a citizen of the United States of America, it sickens me to think that our legal system would keep or send potentially innocent people to prison and withhold DNA testing for fear of the results. The prosecutors should preserve and use DNA testing until each criminal case has been brought to resolution. Today modern technology has become so advanced one could do a DNA test on any individual who has been charged or convicted of a crime. I feel DNA testing isn't solely the answer, but with other evidence should be routinely used in all our criminal court cases to ensure the release and protection of the innocent, but more importantly to reinforce the prosecution of the guilty.

From the smallest sample of one's DNA, new advances in forensic science can determine physical evidence, to either place a person at a crime scene or eliminate him/her as a suspect (Zonderman 6).

As with many cases pending today overzealous prosecutors hide exculpatory evidence such as DNA testing. The case of Clyde Charles has taught us just how difficult proving one's innocence is once prosecutors present nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Clyde Charles was convicted of aggravated rape back in 1981, a sentence that carries a mandatory life sentence in the state of Louisiana. The evidence convicting Charles was nothing more than Charles being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Charles along with his family pressured local state and federal officials to do DNA testing on the evidence at the crime scene. After years of being denied his Constitutional rights, in May 1999 DNA tests were completed on the evidence from the victim. After 16 years in prison, Louisiana finally released an innocent man based upon the evidence from the DNA testing (www.pbs.org/).

Many state and...