DNA Black originally uploaded by Spanish Flea
According to this Dakota County Criminal Complaint, the Farmington Police Department pulled off a little CSI action and took DNA samples from blood at the scene of a theft to get their man:
Victim reported that he also observed two cigarette butts on his driveway, making note that no one usually smokes at his residence. Police also observed some blood spots on the driver’s side front door, along with more blood on the shattered glass that was now inside the vehicle on the floorboard. Police collected two samples of the blood which was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (hereinafter referred to as BCA) for analysis.
Farmington police later received a report from the BCA indicating that the blood samples were searched through the Minnesota convicted offender DNA database and matched the DNA profile obtained from Anthony Richard Reichstadt. With this additional evidence, Farmington police created and executed a search warrant for saliva samples for the DNA profile from Reichstadt.
It’s well known that prosecutors are not pleased with the effect that CSI (and shows like it) have had on jury pools. In one study of Michigan jurors, 22% of respondents noted that they expected to see DNA evidence in every criminal case and 59% believed that there should be fingerprint evidence in any theft case. One anecdote passed along in the article about the study noted, “I once heard a juror complain that the prosecution had not done a thorough job because ‘they didn’t even dust the lawn for fingerprints.'”
In this particular case the estimated loss was mentioned to be $4,800. Do you believe that it was a good use of taxpayer dollars to collect the DNA evidence, process it, and then collect more DNA to catch the criminal when the likelihood of recovering that money or property is slim to none? Do you think that the “CSI Effect” had anything to do with the Farmington PD collecting the evidence in this manner? Whatever you have to say about the “CSI Effect” and how it has changed even local law enforcement for tiny little towns go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.