In recent decades, DNA evidence has become something of a pop-culture phenomenon. All too often, DNA evidence is shown as irrefutable fact, a scientific fingerprint that allows for a black-and-white determination of guilt or innocence. Unfortunately, such depictions are inaccurate and dangerous. This paper attempts to address this danger by calling for a temporary moratorium on the presentation of DNA evidence at trial, implemented until federal standards are put in place to regulate the presentation of DNA evidence, and until robust studies indicate the prevalence of DNA transfer.This paper will demonstrate that DNA analysis schemes are dangerously flawed and that they allow for various outcomes, ranging from understandable human error to the exploitation of an already unstable system. It will then argue that the current reliance on DNA analysis differs from what its legislative creators intended, and will propose solutions to current problems in DNA testing procedures.
- Alternative title
A Moratorium on the Presentation of DNA Evidence
- Journal title
International Social Science Review
- Date submitted
19 July 2022
- Additional information
Declan Kunkel is a Bachelor of Arts candidate at Yale University. He is grateful for the assistance of Nilakshi Parndigamage, who provided constructive criticism of the manuscript and thankful for the help of David R. Dow, Jeffrey R. Newberry, and Brandon Garrett, who provided research advice. He is also grateful for the resources of Yale Law School.