Excerpt from How Do Private Eyes Do That?: How PIs Are Used in Cases Where DNA Evidence Is Employed
Posted by Writing PIs on February 5, 2012
Today we’re posting an excerpt from How Do Private Eyes Do That?, a nonfiction ebook by one of the Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes’s PIs, Colleen Collins. The book is a compendium of articles about private investigations, currently available on Kindle and Nook for $1.99. No ereader? No problem. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble provide free, easy-to-download apps so you can read ebooks on your laptop, smartphone, and other devices.
Excerpt Article: How Does DNA Get to a Crime Scene?
There is known DNA evidence (produced by the victim) and there is evidence produced by a suspect (foreign depositor.) This evidence must be collected by a definite protocol because deviation from this collection method might spark a courtroom challenge to the reliability of that evidence.
How is a private investigator used in a case where DNA evidence is employed?
A private investigator might be retained and used to challenge the manner in which DNA evidence was gathered and handled by their opponent. The private investigator might look for evidence to substantiate a challenge to laboratory staff’s credentials or he might look for evidence that their test results have been successfully challenged in other cases.
When Is DNA Evidence Used?
DNA evidence is used in criminal prosecutions(to show a suspect is the perpetrator of a crime) and in an increasing variety of
civil cases (to prove that an individual was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for a crime, to show paternity, and to establish lineage in estate matters.)
exonerated through DNA evidence against police, prosecutors, and the forensic laboratories who helped bring about the wrongful conviction. For example three young men who played on Duke’s Lacrosse team and were falsely accused of rape and wrongfully prosecuted for that crime over a twelve-month period sued a North Carolina District Attorney and thirteen others. The trio also sued the laboratory used by the prosecutors for withholding evidence that pointed to their innocence. This is the laboratory that initially attested to a match between their DNA and samples taken from their accuser. This laboratory is now under scrutiny for its handling of evidence in this and other cases.
Note to writers: If you’re writing a story with a private investigator character, he/she (who could easily have a scientific or an investigative background) might be involved in gathering evidence about how certain laboratories are crooked, how they employ “bad science,” or even what makes some scientists charlatans.
- Texas man freed after DNA clears him of 1988 rape (undisputedlegal.wordpress.com)
- Families Hold Onto Hope DNA Evidence Will Find Loved Ones (arkansasmatters.com)
- Private Investigators and Murder Cases (writingpis.wordpress.com)
- More Science Needed for Forensic Investigations (scientificamerican.com)
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