The Impact of DNA Profiling in Criminal Prosecutions
OCT 18, 2014
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The first use of DNA in a criminal case occurred during the 1986 investigation of two rape-murders in the United Kingdom. Only two years later, a New York judge called DNA evidence the “single greatest advance in the search for truth ... since the advent of cross-examination.” Less than a decade after being first introduced, a National Academy of Sciences report stated that “DNA analysis is one of the greatest technical achievements for criminal investigation since the discovery of fingerprints.”
DNA profiling is not only used as evidence at trial, it is a powerful investigative tool. DNA databases permit the police to identify criminals in “cold” cases, in which there are no suspects. For example, the national DNA database linked Fletcher Worrell to 25 rapes, which were committed over a span of 30 years in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland (where he was known as the “Silver Springs Rapist”). More recently, DNA helped identify the “Grim Sleeper,” a serial killer who had stalked Los Angeles for nearly 25 years. Law enforcement accomplished this by means of a relatively new procedure, known as familial DNA searching. Last term, the Supreme Court, in Maryland v. King, upheld the constitutionality of placing DNA profiles of arrestees in these databases.
This lecture will be of interest to all Ohio attorneys who are criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges who preside over criminal proceedings, and those attorneys who represent the convicted in death penalty appeals.
Paul C. Giannelli
Albert J. Weatherhead III and Richard W. Weatherhead Professor
Distinguished University Professor
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Free and open to the public, register at the door.