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Title: The New Scientific Eyewitness: The Role of DNA Profiling in Shaping Criminal Justice
Contributor(s): Wise, Jenny  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) has been hailed as the new 'gold standard' in identification methods and is believed to have revolutionised law enforcement techniques. DNA profiling emerged in the late 1980s as a powerful tool for combating crime. In 1985, members of the British scientific community proposed that 'DNA fingerprinting' would "revolutionise forensic biology particularly with regard to the identification of rape suspects" (Gill, Jeffreys and Werrett 1985: 577). Its usefulness and versatility has been continually demonstrated over the past two decades in the number of offenders it has identified and the number of people who have been exonerated. The use of DNA evidence in 1987 to link Colin Pitchfork to the rapes and murders of two young women in the English Narborough Village captured the imagination of law enforcement agencies and governments internationally ['R v Pitchfork and Kelly' (1987)]. The 'Pitchfork' (1987) case demonstrated that DNA evidence could reliably include and exclude a suspect from police enquiries (this case will be described in more detail in Chapter Two). It provided police with a more discriminating type of evidence than traditional blood or semen analysis could offer, which was particularly significant for sexual assault cases. The importance of this new type of evidence was secured when it was used to exonerate people. In the United States (US) 218 wrongly convicted people have been proved innocent by DNA evidence, including 16 people on death row (Innocence Project 2008). The ability to use DNA evidence to convict and exonerate people demonstrates the versatility of the technology and the potential to both prevent and amend miscarriages of justice.
Publication Type: Book
Publisher: VDM Verlag Dr Müller
Place of Publication: Saarbrücken, Germany
ISBN: 9783639194913
Field of Research (FOR): 160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 940401 Civil Justice
940404 Law Enforcement
HERDC Category Description: A1 Authored Book - Scholarly
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Extent of Pages: 323
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Appears in Collections:Book
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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