With the development of new technologies, DNA evidence continues to play an important role in criminal cases, especially in cases involving allegations of violent crime such as sexual assault. In the United States, DNA evidence has been used to exonerate 321 individuals who were convicted. This number is utterly tragic, given that 13.6 years is the average prison sentence that DNA exonerees have served.
Other facts about DNA exonerations:
- Of those individuals exonerated by DNA evidence, about 70 percent are people of color.
- DNA has proven the innocence of 20 people after they were sentenced to death.
- Convicted individuals have won exonerations in 38 states, including Missouri, and the District of Columbia.
If DNA evidence is being used in a case against you, then it is crucial that you have a criminal defense attorney with experience in investigating this kind of evidence. False accusations of violent crime such as sexual assault or homicide can be proven to be false with the use of DNA, but sometimes unusual situations lead to negative outcomes for defendants.
For example, DNA evidence may be lost, destroyed or otherwise compromised, and a detailed investigation is needed to determine the facts and how they relate the prosecution’s case. If a prosecutor’s office or a lab technician has damaged DNA evidence, then this fact could be a breakthrough in challenging the prosecution’s claims. This kind of development doesn’t happen on its own, however.
The attorneys at Sindel, Richard H. Sindel, Inc. understand how DNA evidence can be a powerful tool in criminal defense cases, and we investigate DNA thoroughly. Our attorneys represent clients in St. Louis and throughout Missouri.