In 1930, the French scientist Edmond Locard published a journal article in which he laid the groundwork for what would become the field of forensic science. Locard said a criminal actor will always leave traces of his or her presence at a crime scene and will always leave with traces of the scene on his or her person. Locard’s Exchange Principle revolutionized police investigative techniques.
The discovery of DNA further transformed the field of forensics. DNA exists in every person at the molecular level and is highly particularized to an individual. As such, DNA evidence has become the gold standard for forensic identification in criminal cases. When a suspect’s DNA is found at a crime scene, investigators have strong, virtually unassailable proof that the suspect was there.
Or do they?
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Copyright 2020, Public Defender, Ninth Judicial Circuit. The material found on this web site is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered to be legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. Use of this web site is not intended to create, nor constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not rely upon or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.