CMI SmartWater in Broward Crime Investigation
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has begun using a high tech liquid to deter and apprehend burglary suspects according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The liquid can be placed or sprayed on valuable items within the home and effectively rubs off on to individuals who come into contact with the items. Criminal defense lawyer William Moore claims that versions of this forensic liquid (known as SmartWater) has been used overseas for some time.
The liquid rubs off onto the hands of anyone touching the object that has previously been coated with it. Special UV lights are needed to detect the dye on a suspects hands and clothes. This water-based liquid was actually developed almost 20 years ago outside of the United States. And the manufacturer CSI claims that SmartWater is detectable for over 5 years from the date that a suspect comes into contact with it.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has issues a warning to burglary suspects, claiming that this tool is expected to have effective use in deterrence and apprehension of criminals. Criminal defense lawyers point out however, that the use of SmartWater will serve little to no evidentiary value where suspects knew the victims of theft and had lawful access to the areas where the stolen property was originally kept prior to the theft.
Attorney William Moore claims that it is entirely feasible that someone with lawful access to a person’s home may have come into contact with belongings and subsequently been stained by them without their knowledge. Right to privacy issues also come into play which are governed by our Constitution.