The use of forensic science may not have prevented some of our countryâ??s most horrific crimes from taking place, but it has stopped more of those crimes happening by proving guilt where needed.
Forensic science is also a useful tool in proving innocence, where previously miscarriages of justice, would have robbed someone of their liberty for many years. Never before have we been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of a person as we can today.
Never too late to Find Proof
One famous case in the UK is that of the Lynette White murder. Three men, who became known as the â??Cardiff Threeâ??, were part of a group of five men who were initially known as the â??Cardiff Fiveâ?? all arrested for the murder of a twenty-year-old Lynette White. Only three of the suspects were eventually trialled for the horrific murder, but what was very disturbing at the time was the way the investigation was conducted by police. In 1988 and after a poor investigation, three men were imprisoned each receiving life sentences. Twenty years or so later, there was enough doubt placed on the convictions to have the case re-opened and in 2002 there was another (the third) murder trial. New forensic science known as the Second Generation Multiplex Plus (SGM+) test proved that blood at the scene, which was known to belong to the killer did not belong to those originally convicted.
Finding the Killer
The SGM+ test enabled the use of familial searching which would allow the matching of similar DNA to someone on the DNA database who is already known to the police. In the case of the Lynette White murder investigation, the database search threw up an impossible result. The match was that of a 14 year-old boy who was not born at the time of the murder. When further checks were done, the partial match of the young boy, led to a complete match for his uncle, which led to his arrest and conviction. The arrest took place in 2003 of Jeffery Gafoor who plead guilty to Lynette Whiteâ??s murder and for which he received a life sentence.
In the case of the â??Cardiff Threeâ??, three innocent men spent a large portion of their adult lives imprisoned. One of the men, Yusef Abdullahi, died in 2011 from a perforated ulcer before he reached the age of fifty. Much of his life had been spent suffering because the use of forensic evidence was not sufficient to prove his innocence at the time. The subsequent perjury cases that disproved the evidence against him came too late.
Forensic science is now an essential part of many investigations and it is vitally important to be used when proving innocence as much as guilt. Visit www.forensicequity.com for further information.