New Bill Would Restore DNA Testing Requirements
Posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2015
One of the unintended consequences of Proposition 47, a bill passed by voters that reduces certain crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, is that as many as 250,000 criminals could avoid DNA testing for criminal charges under the new law. To correct this issue, a new bill has been introduced into the California Assembly that would restore the rights of prosecutors to demand DNA testing in certain types of cases. Supporters say that this bill would help solve major crimes such as rape and murder.
Supporters argue that many rapists and murderers are identified by DNA samples when they are jailed for lesser crimes. The new bill would allow for DNA testing only for misdemeanors that were previously classified as felonies.
How DNA Testing Works
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, the building blocks of cells and the blueprint for all of life. Everyone’s DNA is unique, and people can be identified with a very high degree of certainty by DNA evidence, which is found in most body fluids such as blood and saliva, or even in hairs or skin cells. DNA evidence is often used to make positive identifications of victims or to build a case against a particular suspect.
DNA evidence, however, is not as cut and dried as television and the movies make it seem. DNA samples are often corrupted, so they may not be as reliable as people think. Furthermore, there is no real way to tell when DNA was deposited at a crime scene, so it is possible to wrongfully convict someone based on DNA evidence. DNA evidence must always be assessed in the light of other evidence and must fit in with that evidence in order for there to be no reasonable doubt about a defendant’s guilt.
How Can DNA Testing Affect My Case?
Unfortunately, DNA evidence can have long-reaching effects, even for those who are innocent. If a DNA sample has been taken in certain cases, it may be stored and used as evidence in future cases. Therefore, it is very important that you understand when and how your DNA is being collected and used.
The attorneys at the Amerio Law Firm in Sacramento will stand up for your rights and ensure that your DNA is only collected and used when appropriate. Contact the Amerio Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help you with your criminal case.