ANSWERS: 3
  • Are you speaking legally or morally? Legally a person cannot be tried for the same offense twice: it is unconstitutional. Morally, I believe there should be exceptions to this rule and should be subject to the interpretation of the law by a judge. If a judge believes that there is enough evidence to warrant a new trial then the case should be reopened and the suspect retried.
  • Yes, double jeopardy still applies. However, it should be noted that you are relying on two common, but dangerous, fallacies. First, DNA does not prove someone innocent or guilty. For example, if a person is raped and a DNA test later shows that tissue pulled during a rape kit does not match the accused, that does nor preclude the possibility that the person was raped by the accused. Rather, that is just one more piece of evidence. On the other hand, if a person is acquitted of murder but a DNA test later shows the person's DNA at the scene, that is only evidence that the person was at one point at the scene. Second, your question assumes too much reliability in DNA testing. The likelihood that two people will have the same DNA is millions or billions to one, but that is NOT the same as the likelihood that a DNA test will identify two people as having the same DNA. DNA tests have been found to have as high as a 30% error rate.

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