In California and throughout the nation, the collection of DNA is a huge undertaking. All 50 states are required to collect DNA evidence from suspects, with some occurring at the arrest, prior to getting a conviction. Several types of DNA evidence exist in society today. DNA swabbing is one of the most common. DNA swabbing is a type of DNA used to collect evidence from the suspect of a sexual offense, such as rape. For purposes of this article, we will focus on DNA swabbing, the techniques of swabbing, and problems that exist in San Diego County.
What is DNA Swabbing?
A DNA swab, or what is technically known as a buccal swab, is the process by which cells are collected from the cheek of the mouth using a cotton-tipped applicator. Many people refer to DNA swab as a cheek swab.
According to Puritan Medical Products, there are three techniques of DNA swabbing:
- Touch DNA swabbing
- Double touch DNA swabbing
- Blood and fluid swabbing
Puritan Medical Products also lays out the steps of DNA swabbing:
- Swabbing for cells
- Preservation of cells for transport
After learning about the techniques of DNA swabbing and the steps it takes to complete DNA swabbing, you may be surprised to hear that San Diego County is facing its own problems when it comes to DNA swabbing and testing of rape kits.
San Diego Faces Problems With Rape Kit Policies
San Diego County is currently facing a problem with the incomplete testing of DNA rape kits. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) admits to not having the capacity to test all untested rape kits in their possession while handling daily duties, according to an article in the Voice of San Diego.
SDPD was testing only a single swab from untested rape kits. This was the procedure specifically reserved for circumstances where the DA declined to prosecute, according to a report by 10 News San Diego.
Although San Diego is making plans to resolve these problems, this just reiterates the fact that DNA swabbing is not always effective. Ineffective DNA swabbing is what lands an innocent person in jail.
DNA Swabbing is Not Always Effective
Regardless of the steps taken to preserve the evidence, DNA swabbing is not always effective in crime investigations. DNA swabbing can be faulty and a technician’s error in handling the evidence happens often.