New DNA search could change the future of criminal defense cases

A controversial DNA search method is winning over skeptics, according to a recent piece in the Los Angeles Times. The method involves conducting a search that essentially reviews DNA within the offender database. It then flags samples that nearly match those obtained from a crime scene. The samples that nearly match are then further reviewed, with a lookout for brothers, fathers or other family members that may have committed the crime in question.

The new method is touted as one that could change the way criminal defense cases unfold.

What cases has this technique been used in? One of the earliest cases using this technique goes back to 2002. Enforcement officers in Wales used a search of DNA from a case from 1988. The search resulted in a partial match with a 14 year-old boy. Upon further examination, officers were led to the boy's uncle, who pleaded guilty to the murder.

California officials have used the method in a number of cases, including the "Roaming Rapist." This case involved a man who spent six years in Sacramento raping women headed home from work. This technique is credited with leading to the man responsible for these crimes arrest.

How common is this criminal evidence technique? This type of a search is not yet common in the United States. Some states are starting to use it more frequently. California has made wide use of it, with supposed success. The Los Angeles Police Chief told the Los Angeles Times that he predicts that use of this method will "change the way policing is done."

This prediction may hold true. At least eight other states have started using the technique.

What can those facing criminal charges learn from this? The growing acceptance of this method highlights the evolving nature of the criminal justice system in our country. The law is constantly changing. As such, anyone facing charges should not assume that they understand how the process will unfold.

New methods may be in use.

As a result, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. This legal professional will review the details of your case and advocate for your rights, working to better ensure a more favorable outcome.

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