DNA Testing Advances to Help Exonerate & Convict More Accurately

New advances in DNA testing technology can now differentiate identical twins and distinguish between two separate, but extremely close, sets of DNA. This is changing how criminal investigations can be solved, even cold and closed cases. 

Differentiating Identical Twins

“Next generation” or “massive parallel” sequencing allows scientists to map out the genome of each twin. This is taking a fine-tooth comb over a set of genetic instructions to find mutations, those teeny tiny variations that make us unique, even identical twins aren’t identical. Just as a book that sells 3 billion copies is bound to have a typo, so does every set of genetic code. these mutations will show up in anything that carries DNA.

Post-Conviction DNA Testing

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, a Utah bill modifying post-conviction DNA testing procedures was passed. This will help wrongfully convicted individuals be able to prove their innocence. Under current Utah law, a court is only able to order DNA testing if the defendant has already shown that evidence will establish factual innocence, which is a Catch-22.

Why These Two Elements Are Important

It has been proven that a man who was accused of rape and spent over 15 years in prison was innocent, his twin brother actually committed the crime. It sounds like something out of Law & Order, right? While it is extremely rare for the “it was my evil twin” alibi to be true, the same procedure that is used to identify identical twins is also able to differentiate similar looking DNA as well. So, when a bit of circumstantial evidence is mixed with a 60 percent DNA match, that will not necessarily be enough to put someone away.

Hopefully, this new DNA testing will allow for the justice system to improve the success rate of imprisoning the guilty and exonerating or clearing the wrongly accused.

To learn more about our DNA testing services, contact ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City today.

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