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Virginia reconsiders blood results from sexual assault trials

When facing criminal charges, most who are charged hope that they will be treated with fairness and respect afforded to them under the law. There are times, however, when forensic science used to convict a defendant turns out to be simply wrong. Modern advances in DNA and blood analysis have continued to unearth miscarriages of justice in sexual assault and other trials over the past several decades.

A recent exoneration has caused the Virginia Supreme Court to reconsider blood-type evidence that was used to convict many suspects over the past few decades.  An article written about the case describes a man who was convicted of the murder of a Newport News man in 1982. The main piece of evidence used against him was a bite mark left on the victim, which has recently been proved wrong due to advanced DNA evidence.

The man's lawyers proved that even the simple blood typing performed by a forensic serologist showed that the man was not the perpetrator of the crime, but the results were never entered into evidence. The same serologist also conducted tests on a Virginia Beach man who was convicted of rape and served eight years until he was also cleared by DNA. Before DNA testing, many capital cases were tried and decided on the basis of blood-typing tests, which had a large margin of error due to inherent limitations.

Though testing has vastly improved, people who are accused of a crime have the right to a fair and unbiased investigation and trial. Those in Virginia who are accused of sexual assault or murder may benefit from seeking representation from an attorney who has experience in criminal law. An attorney whose practice focuses on criminal defense can best guide an accused party through the various legal options available during such an incredibly difficult experience.

Source: richmond.com, "After Harward exoneration, Va. proceeds with review of 200 old blood-typing cases", Frank Green, May 11, 2016

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