Serious Problems with DNA Fingerprinting Essay

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Serious Problems with DNA Fingerprinting

Is there any piece of physical evidence so foolproof it could be used to prove or disprove anyone's case in a trial? Many people believe the answer to this question is DNA. In theory, this argument is true, but many believe certain factors can lead to inconsistent data gathered from DNA. There are many differing opinions on how DNA should be used, or if it should be used at all.

Many people are uninformed about what DNA actually is or how it is used in criminal trials. DNA is the generic term for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is a molecule found throughout the entire body that determines all inherited characteristics (Forensic Testing Division, 1998). Someone receives half of his
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The fragments are subjected to electrophoresis-a process in which an electric charge propels the fragments through a gel (Williams, 1989). Logically, the shorter strands will move at a faster rate than longer ones, thus leaving different patterns for different people. The process is not finished, though. The sample is given radioactive probes which bonds to the DNA. Lastly, the sample is blotted against film which shows a unique pattern for every individual, similar to a bar code. This bar code is then compared to a sample from the suspect in question. It should be known that the theoretical chances of someone having the some DNA fingerprint of someone else is said by some to be as little as one in one quadrillion. This is why many scientists and prosecutors believe DNA is a great way to create an open-and-shut case.

Although the process used in DNA fingerprinting is very complicated, it is a little easier to understand the arguments posed for or against this process. In many cases ranging from the famed O.J. Simpson murder trial to the JonBenet Ramsey case, DNA had been used to acquire evidence leading to a possible conviction. There are also many examples showing DNA being used to free men or women already convicted of a crime they supposedly, according to DNA evidence, didn't commit. One example shows four Chicago men being released from prison after 18 years. In 1996, DNA gathered from a six-month