DNA Evidence in Rape Cases

DNA Evidence is Permissible Evidence in Murder Prosecution Under Florida Sex Law:

Florida Sex Law Authorizes the  collection of DNA Evidence in all sexually motivated felony arrests we can identify them and prosecute them successfully. The Fort Lauderdale homicide defense lawyers at The William Moore Lawfirm provide years of successful legal representation. We can stop them. We can solve many crimes and prevent many more crimes from ever occurring. Fewer cases will grow cold. We can save investigation time, prosecution time and court time. We can get the predators off the streets earlier in their careers. We can protect the innocent and keep the innocent out of jail. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge in defending those facing homicide charges. Contact us immediately for legal representation in Broward County.

The Use of DNA Evidence is Most Technical in Sexual Battery or Rape Investigation and is Otherwise Permissible Under Florida Sex Law.

Excerpt from our Criminal Sex Crimes Forum.

My name is Karen Foster. I am the DNA Chair for the Surviving Parents Coalition. We are a nationwide group of parents who have had children abducted, sexually assaulted, some murdered, few recovered and many are still missing. We have learned first-hand how critical it is to not only collect DNA Evidence in Rape Cases but on all felony arrests.

My 18 year old daughter, Bonnie Craig, was brutally raped and murdered in 1994 in Anchorage, Alaska. Her killer was finally identified in November 2006 by a CODIS DNA match to an inmate in the New Hampshire Prison. After the news reports came out about the killer, I learned he had been in prison in Alaska two months before he killed her, out on parole when he killed her, and back in jail two months after killing her.

With collection of DNA on all felony arrests this crime could have been solved in months. It took more than 12 years. This man was arrested and convicted of armed robbery in NH in February 2003. NH didn’t bother to input his DNA into CODIS, our national DNA database, until almost four years later. It was too late to charge him with kidnapping because the statute of limitations in Alaska was10 years. (After this arrest the statute of limitations on kidnapping was removed.)

All the delays have made it an incredibly difficult case to prosecute. There are over 10,000 pages of investigation, more than 100 DNA profiles were taken to rule out suspects, 230 audio taped interviews to sift through. We are on our third public defender, second prosecutor and second judge. We have had more than 30 pretrial hearings. This one cold case will have cost over $1 million before it is all said and done. It currently is set for trial February, 2011; however, defense is now posturing for further delays.

Cases like this could all be avoided by states collecting DNA on all felony arrests.

All 50 states collect DNA after conviction. Some only collect it for murder and sexual assault convictions. Waiting until after a conviction could take years in our criminal justice system, particularly with major crimes. Many people arrested for felonies have their cases dismissed or plead down to a misdemeanor. Mistrials occur. Many states just don’t have the time, money or room to house prisoners so cases aren’t pursued.

The Department of Justice did a study and found that 40 % of all people arrested for burglary have already committed a murder, rape or other heinous crime. We must collect DNA when the suspects have their fingerprints and mug shots taken. We need to start collecting DNA on arrest now. Florida has almost 29,000 unsolved crimes with DNA evidence. (Go to DNA.gov to find out other State’s statistics) One offender DNA profile costs less than $40 to collect and process. FDLE had requested $1.2 million from the state budget to get this program implemented. An Indiana study shows they could save $60 million per year if they were collecting DNA on felony arrest. (See Attached) There are many successes in other states that are collecting DNA on felony arrest. To learn more do a Google Alert on “DNA on Arrest.” Daily another news report will come out detailing how DNA has solved a case.

For those who question constitutionality of collection of DNA on felony arrest first let me ensure you that there is no medical, psychological, nor even racial information in a DNA Profile. This is what a profile looks like:

LabXYZ Idenitfies Crime Lab
0012152 Specimen #
06,09,11,12,10,10,22,24,9.3,10,08,09, Individual’s DNA
14,14,15,17,17,22,25,12,12,9,10,09,13
DHL Lab Analyst Initials

This is the only information that goes into CODIS, our national DNA database. No names. When you think about privacy issues, if given the option, which would you prefer on the evening news and the internet; your mug shot? Or your DNA?

Once there’s a DNA match the crime lab would be notified by CODIS and then they would contact the law enforcement agency that submitted the specimen. That LE agency would then attempt to reconfirm the match by taking another DNA sample. Then they start building their case against the suspect. The suspect is still innocent until proven guilty. Only a jury determines “Guilty” or “Not guilty.” The whole process is not treated any differently than it would be if only an eyewitness had identified the suspect.

Taking a swab of the inside of a suspect’s cheek to gain a DNA sample is less invasive than a pat-down search for weapons. Again, no medical, psychological or racial information is gained. Opponents argue that the lab still retains the DNA sample. However, the tests done by the crime labs do not give them any other information. It would be similar to your doctor doing a test for pregnancy. That test will not indicate how your thyroid is or what your blood type is. It will tell you only whether or not you are pregnant. Tests done by the crime labs only gain 13-15 identifying markers from the total DNA sample.

There are many safeguards in place and each state, and the federal government, has hefty fines in place for the misuse of DNA. DNA, unlike finger prints, is only for law enforcement identification purposes. It does not get distributed with an arrest record. Collection of DNA on all felony arrests will save time, money, and lives. It will help to balance the scales of justice. It will protect the innocent and keep the innocent out of jail.

 


 

For more information about our criminal defense lawyers and location of services please visit:

CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS IN FORT LAUDERDALE, for arrests in the Broward County area. Case evaluations cost nothing.

For representation for arrests north of Boca Raton, visit CRIMINAL LAWYERS IN WEST PALM BEACH.