A complainant, 20 year-old female, reported to the police that she was raped and robbed by men on October 31, 1996. However, upon investigation by the police, no suspect was identified. In 2004, the police submitted a sample of DNA of the assault to a multijurisdictional DNA databank (). Unfortunately, no match was made. The case, however, continued naming the defendant as “John Doe”. After the presentation of the DNA as evidence, the grand jury convicted John Doe with attempted rape, sexual abuse, and robbery.
After the indictment, the defendant was returned in New York for parole for a 1985 robbery conviction (Criminal Law Library Blog, 2008). Likewise, the defendant also completed his sentence in New Jersey for 1999 drug conviction (Criminal Law Library Blog, 2008). Then, the police took DNA sample from the defendant and entered into the databank. Then from there, it was found that the DNA of John Doe matched with the DNA of the defendant.
The indictment was thereafter amended naming the defendant but the latter questioned it on the grounds of violating his right to speedy trial, lapsing of the statute of limitations, and that the John Doe did not adequately described him as the defendant (Criminal Law Library Blog, 2008). However, defendant pleaded guilty on the crime of rape. Issue: Is an indictment based on DNA markers satisfy defendant’s constitutional right to notice? Applicable Rule of Law: Section 1 of the Sixth Amendment was raised by the defendant which states; “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial…” (U. S. Constitution Online, 2008).
Application of Rule of Law In the resolution of the case, the court asserted that the no Constitutional right of the defendant was violated. With regard to his right to notice, the defendant was informed about the crime during arraignment. He was further given a copy of the indictment. Having matched the DNA samples, the defendant was identified according to the DNA profile. According to the court, the DNA profile was more accurate as to the identity of the defendant.
Furthermore, the indictment qua document which was asserted by the defendant was not violated. According to the court, the purpose of the indictment qua document was fully served by notifying the defendant of the crime upon which he was indicted. It is also noteworthy that the defendant pleaded guilty of the crime charged against him. By having pleaded guilty, he waived all his right to question about his Constitutional rights which include his right to speedy trial and right to notice. Hence, there was no Constitutional provision or procedure was violated.
Significance of the Case: This case is only among several cases which present the significance of applying forensic science in criminal justice. The accurateness of the information provided by DNA testing helps the law enforcers and courts determine the unknown suspect. The use of law in this case has been effective through the use of DNA. One of the most significant developments in forensic science is the DNA. Meanwhile forensic science has been defined as the “application of science to the law” (Hadley, Hadley, and Fereday, 2007, p. 1).
Forensic science has been the considered as an essential development in the criminal justice because of the functions it plays in crime investigation. In addition, it has been considered as an essential tool in achieving justice. In forensic science, DNA or Deoxyribonucleic Acid is an essential forensic science breakthrough. According to scientists, the uniqueness among human beings can be determined through their DNAs. In criminal justice, DNA procedure is helpful in achieving justice. It points out the true criminal while freeing the real innocent people.
In the instant case, DNA typing was used as a method in determining the criminal. DNA typing usually takes three steps. One is laboratory analysis of the samples to determine the unique genetic- marker types of the sample or the person whom the sample was taken (National Research Council, 1992). Second is the comparison or matching to determine whether the genetic- marker types came from the same source (National Research Council, 1992). And, third is statistics analysis of the population frequency when the types matched (National Research Council, 1992).
This step is necessary to determine the probability that such match might have been by chance or may also come from different person (National Research Council, 1992). In the instant case, DNA was proven effective in determining the criminal while criminal procedure and Constitutional rights were not compromised. References Criminal Law Library Blog. (2008). The People of the State of New York v David Martinez. Retrieved February 28, 2009, from http://www. criminallawlibraryblog. com/NY_AppDiv1_Martinez_04-17-08. pdf
Hadley, H. , Hadley, K. , and Fereday, M. J. (2007). Ensuring Competent Performance in Forensic Practice: Recovery, Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting. New York: CRC Press. National Research Council and Committee on DNA Technology in Forensic Science. (1992). DNA Technology in Forensic Science: Summary. New York: National Academies Press. U. S. Constitution Online. (2008). Amendment 6- Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Retrieved February 28, 2009, from http://www. usconstitution. net/xconst_Am6. html