Technological advances, and the use of forensic investigators, have proven themselves to help and hurt people’s not-guilty claims. Unfortunately, though, more cases are happening where officials present botched-up evidence or results in important cases. Or, even better, the legal system jumps the gun on a case featuring an accused person and a jury of his peers sends him to jail with a guilty verdict. Then months or years later forensic investigators find evidence to set him free.
We’ve heard the big new lines citing that another person was set free due to DNA evidence after the trial. Botched up evidence can make or break any case against the non-guilty. Consider the steps of the evidence collection process. First, the evidence must be discovered. During this process, most mistakes occur. For instance, imagine the unsuspecting girlfriend walking into the house, home from a long, exhausting day at work. She walks in the house and right into the crime scene, where her boyfriend lies dead, and possibly disrupts important evidence along the way.
Forensic investigators and detectives are now going to find her footprints, fingerprints and maybe even hair strands mixed in with the crime scene evidence. She calls the police, and then, the police arrive with their fine expertise, and add another set of unknowns to the evidence. Incorrect gathering and packaging of samples extracted from the crime scene, too many people entering into the area and contaminating evidence, and rushed results may all lead to incorrectly processed forensic evidence, making it impossible for the forensic investigators to do an accurate job. Specifically speaking, it’s not necessarily the forensic analysis that went wrong.
As exemplified earlier, the fact that the evidence was botched may not be the fault of the forensic investigator themselves. Quite often, the work of the professionals at the scene of the crime is to blame. The perfect crime scene would be left untouched until the professional forensic examiner is able to look around and decide which information is imperative and what parts of the scene should be left alone for later study.
Jon Benet Ramsey has made her mark on America’s mind, though the biggest impact she made was being murdered. To this day, we question what really happened. If forensic investigators were pointed to the right areas without delay, the likelihood of finding her killer fast would have been greater. Because time slipped by, places that should have been sealed, preserved, and investigated were not. This too is another example where the forensic investigators didn’t have a chance to do their jobs right.
As a final thought, DNA results are even being tested on old cases requested by lawyers of prisoners still pronouncing that they are not guilty. Cases are being reopened and re-examined, DNA extracted, and old evidence compared. People such as James Lee Woodard in Dallas, Texas, accused and convicted of raping and murdering his 21-year-old girlfriend. He sat in jail for 27 years until DNA evidence proved he was innocent. Don’t blame the forensic investigators. With the science and technology of today, forensic investigators freed a man from injustice, despite the already convicted status from 27 years ago.