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Fixing the System: Evidence Preservation

Evidence preservation is crucial to insure accuracy in justice. Evidence preservation begins from the time of collection. Improper procedures in evidence collection can have devastating consequences. Human error is impossible to eliminate completely but proper education and hands on training go a long way to minimizing errors.

Cases of police misconduct in which evidence is proven to have been deliberately mishandled, mistreated or destroyed must be handled properly; not with a slap on the hand. These cases are rare but unfortunately they do occur.

Evidence preservation after conviction is equally important. To date, more than 300 people have been exonerated by DNA evidence. These exonerations would have been impossible if the evidence had not been stored properly. The appeals process in the United States is an uphill battle that must not be made more difficult due to negligence. We need to insure that the innocent have the resources needed to prove their innocence.