The Act of DNA Essay

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Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is the genetic substance that makes up humans and other living things. All humans have distinct genetic codes in their DNA, with the exception of identical twins. DNA plays a role in the transmission of genetic information from parents to children.

The inquiry process and DNA technology

The inquiry process is expedited by DNA technology, which also occasionally helps to overturn incorrect convictions. (Cole, 2007). Police officers are permitted by the DNA Act to obtain DNA samples from criminal defendants and keep them in a national DNA databank. It assists law enforcement in tying suspects to crime sites and clearing suspects whose DNA does not match that taken at the scene of the crime. (Wilson, 2011). The collection of DNA must not violate section 8 of the Charter. Otherwise, the DNA evidence may be rendered inadmissible. Before the collection of DNA law enforcers should seek full consent from the suspects, or they risk violating section 24(2) of the Charter (Frégeau et al., 2003).

Police officers and DNA collection

Under professional capacity, police officers can collect evidence in several instances. First, they can collect DNA for particular crimes stipulated in the DNA Act like murder and sex offenses. Second, the police officer must inform the person before DNA collection, and finally, the collection should be done with an order from the court (Gerlach, 2004).

Use of DNA as evidence

The use of DNA as evidence occurs in situations where the DNA from the suspects matches the DNA sample collected from the crime scene. In such situation, lawyers push for a conviction. The other instance is when the suspect DNA fails to match the DNA sample gathered from a crime scene. In such a scenario, the defendant gets an acquittal, or the judges overturn a wrongful conviction (Denov & Campbell, 2005).

The first use of DNA evidence in Ottawa

In 1989 DNA evidence was first used in investigating the case of a suspected rapist in Ottawa. Though he denied involvement, he was willing to volunteer a sample of his DNA to aid investigations. Experts linked the DNA of the sample to the DNA of the semen extracted from the victim's nightgown. During trial, the jury accepted the DNA evidence. The suspect was pleaded guilty to the judges and sentenced to 7 years (Blais, 2013).


Blais, T. (2013). DNA: 25 years in Canadian courtrooms. Retrieved on June 8, 2017 from

Cole, S. A. (2007). How much justice can technology afford? The impact of DNA technology on equal criminal justice. Science and Public Policy, 34(2), 95-107.

Denov, M. S., & Campbell, K. M. (2005). Criminal injustice: Understanding the causes, effects, and responses to wrongful conviction in Canada. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 21(3), 224-249.

Frégeau, C.J., Bowen, K., Porelle, F., & Fourney, R. (2003). The National DNA Data Bank of Canada - a laboratory bench retrospective on the first year of operation. In International Congress Series (Vol. 1239, pp. 621-625). Philadelphia: Elsevier.

Gerlach, N. (2004). The genetic imaginary: DNA in the Canadian criminal justice system. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Wilson, D.B., Weisburd, D., & McClure, D. (2011). Use of DNA testing in police investigative work for increasing offender. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 7(7).

July 15, 2023

Science Crime

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DNA Gene Forensic Science

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