A man arrested man in Clearwater should have learned to never litter, because as Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys will tell you littering is often just the first small step to a murder charge.
|Munch, Self-Portrait with Cigarette, 1895
During a recent Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) investigation into a grisly rape and homicide case police found DNA evidence on the victim’s body as well as the mattress of her bed despite the fact that the perpetrator had cut out part of the bed sheet in an apparent attempt to remove incriminating evidence. The Sheriff’s office even found a prime suspect, linked to the victim by videotape at a bar, but they had insufficient evidence to make an arrest.
Was the DNA found at the crime scene a match for the suspect’s DNA?
To find out the Sheriff’s Deputies followed the suspect. And finally while driving only a few blocks north of the apartment where the senseless crime occurred the Defendant made a mistake. He flicked his still moldering cigarette out the window. Deputies picked it up. Experts tested it and found a match to the DNA found on the victim. As your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer would happily tell you while drinking your best wine, no search warrant is necessary for personal objects which someone throws away because the act of discarding something shows that the person has forfeited his ownership interest in the property.
We often think of DNA evidence as being infallible, but how reliable is DNA evidence in actual use? Even your favorite Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer would think twice about a conviction in Pinellas and Tampa Bay criminal courts that is based only on a DNA analysis, because errors can occur in the sample, in the testing and in the handling of DNA at the scene of a crime.
But here is some information for you that jurors never hear in any criminal trial in Pinellas and Tampa Bay from the testifying DNA experts of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office or the FBI:
Scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases. The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person. see DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show – NYTimes.com
Worse from the viewpoint of a Clearwater Crime Defense Lawyer, “You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of a paper by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.” see Authentication of forensic DNA samples
DNA Profiling depends not only on accurate analysis but a database that is infallible and as you can see it also depends on the DNA being real. Are the FDLE and PCSO DNA analysts who testify in criminal trials in Pinellas and Tampa Bay courts familiar with the possibility that the DNA at a crime scene may have been manufactured? And if so, shouldn’t they be telling these facts to Tampa Bay jurors without a Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer having to ask them?
Reliability weak points
Errors can occur if DNA samples are damaged or contaminated from improper handling. Limited amounts or mixtures of DNA profiles can increase misinterpretation of results.
One case study
Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory
Houston shut its police crime lab’s DNA division for several years after 2002 because of problems with the education and training of examiners, misleading testimony and improper evidence storage, leading to at least three exonerations and retesting of thousands of cases.