This publication, although outdated in terms of DNA technology, offers many case studies in which DNA was used to prove innocence.
The development of DNA technology furthers the search for truth by helping police and prosecutors in the fight against violent crime. Through the use of DNA evidence, prosecutors are often able to conclusively establish the guilt of a defendant. Moreover, as some of the commentaries suggest, DNA evidence—like fingerprint evidence—offers prosecutors important new tools for the identification and apprehension of some of the most violent perpetrators, particularly in cases of sexual assault. At the same time, DNA aids the search for truth by exonerating the innocent. The criminal justice system is not infallible, and this report documents cases in which the search for truth took a tortuous path. With the exception of one young man of limited mental capacity, who pleaded guilty, the individuals whose stories are told in the report were convicted after jury trials and were sentenced to long prison terms. They successfully challenged their convictions, using DNA tests on existing evidence. They had served, on average, 7 years in prison.