DNA profiling procedures

The analyst failed to inform the jury that the victim also possessed a similar blood group and there was mixing of the victim’s fluids in the sample. It was also possible that the type B factors obtained from the sample could have entirely come from the victim and her fluids genetic markers could have dominated those from the male fluids. Blake stated that genetic information pertaining to the contributor of the semen was not sought (People of the state of Illinois v. Gary E. Dotson, 1985), and based on this revelation any man could have donated the semen.

Barry Scheck’s idea of ‘innocence project’ is motivated by the desire to provide post-conviction testing services for those individuals who have been incarcerated and are starved of legal support. This has however, not been without financial setbacks. A promise of $750,000 made to assist minimal number of appellants was nullified by US government after the September 11, 2001 calamity (www. innocenceproject. org). According to www. innocenceproject. org post-conviction testing is a worthy undertaking that is considered vital and whose significance makes it qualify for federal financial support.

Contrary, this has not been the case in UK, where admission of DNA testing as a consideration for appeal would be rendered unexceptional and availability of DNA testing to convicts remains a challenge. There is limited information on the number of convicts in prisons with appeals which could warrant DNA profiling, although few case are usually reported from time to time. Dedication of resources by the government to identify cases that may need appeal and offer relevant assistance has not been exemplified.

Also there exists information gap with respect to published procedures which guide the process in case of a possible appeal for DNA profiling to convicts serving long sentences. In UK, the ideology of innocence projects has not gained much official recognition and there are no agencies which facilitate post-conviction testing. This has significantly been due to lack of financial commitments by the central government to convicts to encourage their desire for justice and relevant schemes which make testing possible are non-existent.

Unlike the case of USA where post-conviction testing procedures are in place; UK lacks DNA profiling procedures in their criminal judicial routine. In the US, post-conviction testing has become peripheral to the criminal judicial process. The steps taken have proven their significance in the advancement of credible testing technology. According to Connors, Lundregan, Miller and Mc Ewan (1996), the National Institute of Justice has facilitated in dispelling the fears that linger in people’s perception that DNA testing threatens civil liberties.

The commission which deals with the review of criminal cases in the UK has failed to give consideration to DNA profiling while carrying out its procedural role of investigating the claims of miscarriage of the legal system. The publicized case of DNA profiling in UK which result long after prosecution have been limited and case of release of formerly convicted individuals are minimal. One exceptional case that has been observed is that which involved DNA analysis of five men whose accusations were that they murdered Lynette White in 1990 in the town of Cardiff.

Three men initially received convictions for this crime and were later released following previous done appeals. In the case of James Hanratty, the results of DNA analysis worked in support of the original proceedings. In July 2003, Michael Shirley was exonerated by the court of appeal which overturned a conviction done previously following the evidence obtained from DNA analysis. It was the first occasion that the commission dealing with review of criminal cases successful reversed the initial judgment based on newly obtained DNA information.