Is There Enough Accountability In DNA Testing For The Purpose Of Prosecution?

by Mickey Huff
Published: Last Updated on

The article titled, “Scientists claim New York police forced them to fake DNA tests to convict more suspects,” elaborates on a story in which a group of scientists assert that they were fired after attempting to address errors they observed in the lab that employed them to test DNA samples in order to convict alleged criminals. This story has not received widespread attention from the main stream media, which could possibly be attributed to the sensitive nature of evaluating our criminal justice system, or criticizing a structure that is responsible for bringing about evidence that has convicted many men and women of wrong doing that led to a life in prison, or worse.

The DNA that these scientists were tasked with testing had the potential to act as critical pieces of evidence in the sentencing of an array of men and women, some of which were brought up on very serious charges with very serious consequences. According to the article, the group of scientists Shannon Morris, Melissa Lee, and Kevin Rafferty, identified a flaw in the DNA evaluation system that was working in the favor of the people who silenced them; as it was fulfilling their interest of amassing a larger quantity of prosecutions.

Sources:

“Scientists claim New York police forced them to fake DNA tests to convict more suspects,” Raw Story, February 21, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/scientists-claim-new-york-police-forced-them-to-fake-dna-tests-to-convict-more-suspects/

“New Questions about The Use Of Forensic DNA,” The Diane Rehm Show, December 16, 2015, http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2015-12-16/new-questions-about-the-use-of-forensic-dna

Student Researcher: Joseph Westberry, Indian River State College

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, PhD, Indian River State College