Forensic Identification

Every single day, the world witnesses crimes ranging from stealing, burglary, kidnapping and killings. The culprits orchestrating such crimes need to be apprehended in court and the victims of such crimes served the right justice. The process of apprehending criminals is however not a straight forward step and requires a lot of effort. Even after apprehending the suspects, there needs to be certainty regarding the role of these culprits in the advancement of the crimes. One of the most important steps in this endeavor is the use of forensic data to create leads that are crucial in the solution of cases. Indeed, forensic scientists use different resources and techniques in finding leads between suspects and the crimes under investigations. Some of the techniques in use include finger prints, foot prints, urine tests, DNA markers and testing among other useful devices (Saks, 2010). That notwithstanding, the use of DNA analysis is by far the most effective method of forensic identification.

Despite there being a clear support system for the effectiveness of data analysis in forensic identification, the concept still faces continued opposition. The basis for such negative ideologies is based on the fact that the technique sometimes achieves wrong convictions of suspects that are innocent. Indeed, such has been the case at times with men facing prosecutions for crimes they did not commit while the culprits walk scot free. The scenario of innocent persons spending many years in prisons for crimes committed by free people gives weight to this notion. In addition, some cases are built around extraneous DNA collected from biological evidence within the site thus resulting in bad samples. Still, other opponents argue that the results of DNA tests are inconclusive in nature and should not be used in convicting suspects in isolation (Coyle et al, 2009). However, all the points raised in opposition of DNA analysis revolve around the application of the technique. In fact, all the misgivings cited against DNA analysis result from human errors in the use of scientific techniques. That notwithstanding, these errors can be avoided and do not form a basis for labeling the technique a total fail as such.

Scientific findings support the effectiveness of DNA analysis in the process of forensic identification. Indeed, all individuals have distinct and different genetic makeup contained in the different sets of chromosomes. The fact that a DNA sample undergoes several tests before its admission in courts is enough evidence of the effectiveness of the process. The analysts do not only isolate the particular chromosomes in the assessment but also use different size markers to come up with the most possible match. Science dictates that no two individuals can have the same genetic makeup due to the existence of different variations (Thompson & Cole, 2007). Even when the errors are bound to occur, the blame has always been blamed on the use of the technique by humans. As such, errors only occur when the technique is not used intelligently especially when the scientists are not specific enough to narrow down the possible suspects. Every person has a unique genetic makeup and the use of matches from thirteen different locations of the chromosome presents a confident match. Today, DNA is as important as fingerprints were in the conviction of criminals and the vindication of innocent suspects.

Normally, court cases rely on biological evidence in convicting suspects based on the number of clues that the forensic scientist derives from the evidence. Consequently, the existence of biological evidence might render other factors as irrelevant since they have the possibility of interfering with the evidence. The problem of having extraneous DNA in the test samples is one of the major threats to the validity of the evidence. However, the same can be avoided from the right sample through the right use of DNA analysis. Indeed, the use of forensic DNA is not really concerned with the avoidance of extraneous DNA as it is with the identification if the human DNA (Thompson & Cole, 2007). As thus, the problem of extraneous DNA does not even arise when the technique is applied intelligently to attain the best match in forensic identification. In turn, the method used in DNA analysis probes factors that are specific for the human DNA. This fact, coupled with several others emphasizes the need for strict specificity bin forensic identification through DNA analysis. In the same respect, other materials including extraneous DNA cannot interfere with the process as the technique only focuses on the identification of human evidence.

The notion that DNA analysis could have inconclusive results that may lead to wrongful convictions is totally true. However, it is also true that the inconclusive results arise from human errors and their avoidance is also attainable. Besides, DNA analysis has also contributed towards the uncovering of wrongful convictions. Therefore, the technique cannot be blamed of all the wrong things while not been acknowledged for making rights. In addition, most of the inconclusive results usually occur due to misleading leads sometimes floated by mistaken eyewitnesses. This development, coupled by the fact that other techniques also lead to the wrongful conviction of suspects vindicate DNA analysis from the unnecessary focus. Other factors including misconduct, false confessions, and false forensic testimony among others contribute to wrongful convictions (Saks, 2010). Moreover, other techniques, despite having led to wrongful convictions cannot be used to uncover the same false convictions. Therefore, DNA analysis is obviously the most effective technique in forensic identification among all other techniques in use today.

Several studies conducted over time reveal that DNA analysis is the most effective technique in forensic identification. In fact, DNA errors have been proved to have the least likelihood of resulting in wrongful convictions thus rendering DNA analysis a useful tool in the execution of justice. Even when the technique has been in use, the advantages outweigh the limitations because it helps in solving the problem of innocent people spending their time behind bars. When used correctly, DNA analysis stands out among other techniques in the identification of suspects and linking them to crimes they committed (Coyle et al, 2009). In view of the same, intelligent use of the technique has been advised as well as the regular training and education of forensic experts.

Despite there being widespread opposition regarding the use of DNA analysis in forensic identification, it remains to be the most important. Research has shown that most of the factors cited against the technique revolve around the subject of human error which is a common problem in most science based techniques. In addition, the technique is useful in uncovering wrongful convictions making it very effective in the long term. Moreover, the problems associated with the use of DNA analysis can easily be overcome or avoided and the effectiveness of the technique maintained. Ultimately, therefore, DNA analysis is the most effective technique in forensic identification and has the potential for improvement.



Saks, M. J. (2010). Forensic identification: from a faith-based “Science” to a scientific science. Forensic science international, 201(1), 14-17.

Thompson, W. C., & Cole, S. A. (2007). Psychological aspects of forensic identification evidence. Expert psychological testimony for the courts, 31, 34-A6.

Coyle, I. R., Wenderoth, P., & Field, D. (2009). Pattern recognition and forensic identification: The presumption of scientific accuracy and other falsehoods. Criminal law journal, 33(4), 214.


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