The Evidentiary Value of DNA Fingerprint as Criminal Evidence

Mussa Masoud Irhouma

Abstract


The subject of criminal evidence is considered to be one of the greatest challenges that face authorities concerned with fighting crime at all levels. Due to this, authorities try to benefit as much as possible from scientific evidence due to the important role it plays in revealing the identity of criminals or victims in present or past criminal cases against unknown people through the physical traces that are found at the scene of an event, which include biological traces. DNA is one of these scientific evidences which can be benefited from in the field of crime investigation. Despite the importance of DNA technology in this area of work, there is still some debate surrounding its acceptance as criminal evidence. Some experts believe it to be of great importance whereas others cast doubt on its evidentiary value. They attribute this to a number of factors including the experts who are entrusted to examine DNA samples, the laboratories in which DNA analysis takes place, as well as the fact that resorting to DNA as a criminal evidence raises some legal complexities related to the permissibility of using it and the conditions and scope of its use. This paper sheds light on DNA and its evidentiary value among the judiciary in criminal cases by answering a number of questions such as the possibility of forcing a person to undergo DNA analysis or not to do so and to what extent it is to be relied upon as criminal evidence. This paper concluded the importance of DNA and its role in the field of criminal evidence. Despite this, even if the DNA evidence is sufficient in proving the innocence of the accused, it is only an indication that must not be solely relied upon and treated as a single conclusive evidence, particularly in cases that involve prescribed Islamic or retributive punishments.


Keywords


Forensic Science; Criminal Law; Evidentiary Value; DNA Fingerprint

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12816/0033138

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