CA Case Might Be First of DNA ‘Transference’


It looked bad for homeless alcoholic Lukis Anderson when DNA evidence tied him to a Silicon Valley millionaire’s 2012 murder, reports the San Jose Mercury News. But when Anderson’s lawyer proved that paramedics who had treated him in downtown San Jose inadvertently transferred his DNA to the murder scene, it apparently became the first case in California and perhaps the nation in which DNA evidence was shown to have falsely placed an innocent person at the scene of a crime, lending credibility to defense lawyers who struggle to convince jurors to view DNA evidence more skeptically.

“Before, we just had hypotheticals, stuff that DAs would say was smoke and mirrors,” said Deputy Public Defender Kelley Kulick, who handled the groundbreaking case. “Now, there is a case to support it.” While others accused of a crime — most famously exchange student Amanda Knox, who faced murder charges in Italy — have used the so-called transference defense against DNA evidence with some success, those defendants weren’t able to prove, as Anderson’s attorneys did by establishing his alibi, that the DNA evidence had been compromised.

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