DNA Profiling: Acquit the Guilty and Free the Innocents

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The use of this evidence raises the same concerns as any other type of proof even though most scholars still argue that the evidence is infallible. Human is to error, and when they are performing some lap test or collecting of samples from the crime scene, there is always room for error. The existence of human error should be taken serious regarding DNA evidence. The DNA identification act states that all federal laboratories must meet specified standards put in place for inclusion in the Combined DNA Index system. For example, the National DNA Data Bank of Canada comprises of two index one of them being convicted offender index. Under this index, the biological of sample can only be collected by an individual who is experienced and well trained and should adhere to procedures put in place and take the samples under the direction of a peace officer. The samples are then taken to one of the three laboratories in Canada that have partnered with NDDB (Gerlach, 2004). The quality of the laboratories and poor handling DNA sample was evidenced in recent random check that was done on Houston Police Department revealed that there were quality issues, and even laboratory personnel were not well trained. Some critics worry that low standards of the laboratory, untrained lab assistant, and experts intentionally or unintentionally manipulate the DNA results so as mislead the judge, this raises a potential for false matches and mistakes. Such errors can be eliminated by putting in place proper safeguards while handling the DNA samples (Pena, 2013).

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Another limitation faced by DNA profiling is the existing argument against the DNA database. Most scholars are of the contrary opinion that the testing of DNA violates the right of the accused, right to be free from unreasonable seizure and search (Denervaud & Chatin, 2011). For any DNA reasonable search to be carried out there should be a warranty issued by the investigating authority from the neutral magistrate. The entire DNA profiling process becomes more procedural as compared to other investigations. However, some states have adopted various exceptions to the requirement of warrant search depending on the nature of the case being investigated (Pena, 2013). A greater part of courts have concurred that the taking of DNA constitutes a search, yet they have kept on maintaining the extraction as a result of the government's interest, and the reality an indicted criminal has a decreased desire for privacy. The majority of scholars continue to criticize DNA databases. Samples that the samples obtained from various suspect pose some privacy issues. For example, the samples can reveal information on the diseases related to families, relationships, predisposition and ancestry. In the United States,29 states allow the DNA sample retained in their labs; one state requires that the sample should be destroyed after DNA profile generation while 33 states require the sample be utilized for other purposes. Such circulation of samples in laboratories creates overburdened crime laboratories, crime framing, and unfairness. The National DNA Data Bank of Canada has taken the privacy issue seriously. NDDB consider DNA profiles as anonymous pieces of DNA, at the same time information about the donor regarding physical or medical are never specified. (Gerlach, 2004).


DNA profiling has the authority to acquit the guilty and free the innocents one and at the same time, to solve crimes that may not have been solved up to now. As a result of its success, hundreds of previously convicted defendants have been given a second chance of living, such as Earl Washington. Particularly, this was one of the most achievements as punishment of the innocent is the worst thing in the society. Furthermore, DNA has proved its reliability in retrieving evidence left at the crime scene. As much as DNA profiling receives a lot of praise, its use is characterized by drawbacks. As portrayed in the essay, there is still human error, laboratory concerns, and results manipulation. However, proper measures have been put in place to deal with such problems.


Denervaud, I., & Chatin, O. (2011). DNA Profiling: The Innovative Company : how to Increase Creative Ability in Business. Pearson Education France.

Pena, S. D. (2013). DNA Fingerprinting: State of the Science. Springer.

Gerlach, N. (2004). The Genetic Imaginary: DNA in the Canadian Criminal Justice System. University of Toronto Press.

Razin, E., & Smith, P. J. (2006). Metropolitan Governing: Canadian Cases, Comparative Lessons. University of Alberta.

R v Parent (ABCA January 16, 2014). Retrieved from http://canlii.ca/t/g2n4w

Taupin, J. M. (2013). Introduction to Forensic DNA Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionals. CRC Press.

Weising, K., Nybom, H., Pfenninger, M., Wolff, K., & Kahl, G. (2005). DNA Fingerprinting in Plants: Principles, Methods, and Applications, Second Edition. CRC Press.

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