Use of DNA in Two Criminal Investigations Essay Example

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1The Use of DNA in two Criminal Cases

DNA is one of the methods used in the crime scene investigations to link a suspect to a crime. The use of DNA in criminal investigations involves matching the evidence collected at a crime scene with the samples from the suspect to find his or her involvement in the crime. The use of DNA in criminal investigations dates back to the 1980s when DNA was used in the investigation of criminal events where there were no evidence of blood or fingerprints that would aid in investigations.

The video, Early Implementation of DNA in Forensic Science, presents two criminal cases involving the murder of two women, Susan Tucker and Dorothy White. The events surrounding the murder of Susan Tucker in 1987 were similar to the murder of Caroline Ham that happened three years earlier. The victim had a rope tied around her neck with her hands tied on her back; the entry point was through a broken window, and her purse contents were on the floor suggesting a case of burglary. However, there was no evidence of fingerprints or hair at the scene. Timothy Spencer, was to be later convicted of the murder following the results of his DNA sample analysis that matched the ones collected at the crime scene.

The use of DNA evidence also proved fruitful in the murder of Dorothy White who was found dead at her house. The investigators in the murder case collected all the possible evidence from the crime scene including the blood samples using the swabs. It however took close to 20 years before the murderer could be found following the remoteness of the DNA testing in those years. In 1999, in an attempt to find justice, Dorothy’s sister in law called the police and new investigations into the murder commenced. Later, William Morretet was convicted for the murder.

These two cases show the importance of DNA analysis in linking suspects to criminal investigations. Although the cases took place when the DNA evidence was not common in criminal investigations, and the investigators and prosecutors had to convince the judges of its importance, the result was that it helped in giving scientific evidence of the involvement of the perpetrators in those crimes. Additionally, in both crimes, the investigators performed well in evidence collection. However, in Dorothy’s case, the file was altered, making the evidence to stay in the laboratory for 20 years. Investigators, in this case, should have ensured that analysis of the evidence was done immediately.

In the case of Susan Tucker which involved various procedures before finding the perpetrator, advancements in DNA would have proved useful. The current DNA analysis procedures do not require large samples from the crime scene. Since Susan was raped before being murdered, the semen samples from the victim would have been enough to find the perpetrator. This would be made easier by the use of DNA profiling and DNA databases that would be used in identifying the murderer (Shoester, 2006, p. 171-188). Additionally, since the victims in both cases struggled with their murderers, current DNA technologies would have detected the presence of the murderers’ cells on the bodies of the victims, enabling investigators to link them with the crimes.

Work Cited

Shoester, Maria V. Forensics in Law Enforcement. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2006. Print, p. 171-188.