The Role of Forensic Evidence in Tennessee Murder Trials

A murder charge is the most serious offense anyone can be charged with. The prosecution has the burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. They rely on forensic evidence to persuade the jury that you are guilty. But your Nashville murder defense lawyer has access to the same evidence as the prosecutor during the trial.

And in many instances, the same evidence that may appear to convict you, could actually save you from being pronounced guilty. Let us examine how forensic evidence is used in a murder trial and how a skilled lawyer can interpret it in your favor.

1. DNA Evidence

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is unique to each human being. Its sequence contains the entire “code” that defines you, from height and eye color, to blood type and inherited health conditions.

DNA can be extracted from hair roots, skin cells and various bodily fluids (blood, saliva, semen). The fact that a person’s DNA is present at a murder scene means that the respective person was there.

2. Fingerprint Analysis

Fingerprints are also unique to each person. Some people actually tried to burn their fingerprints with fire or acid – but they maintained the same pattern once the skin healed.

If someone’s fingerprints are lifted from a murder weapon (knife, gun, hammer, etc.), it is a clear indication that the person held the respective item in their hand.

3. Blood Spatter Analysis

Blood spatter defines the pattern of blood from the victim on various surfaces at the murder scene. Depending on the density, shape and angle of the blood stains, forensic specialists can determine if the victim bled as a result of:

  • Sharp force injuries – stabbing
  • Blunt force injuries – being hit with a baseball bat, hammer or other blunt and heavy object
  • Gunshot injuries

The analysis of the blood spatter can tell the method of taking the victim’s life and other specific details (whether the victim was hit from close range or from a distance, the angle of applying the injuries, etc.)

various items can link a person to a crime scene

4. Ballistics

Ballistics is the science that studies gunshot wounds and the remains (shell) of the bullet that hit the victim’s body.

5. Forensic Pathology

For an experienced Nashville murder defense lawyer, access to the forensic pathology report is essential for building your case. This is a report prepared by the coroner who performed the autopsy on the victim. The report is highly detailed and should include all the findings regarding the victim’s anatomy, method and time of death.

6. Digital Forensics

People now rely on smart devices for various everyday activities, from checking the route to a new restaurant to buying new furniture and holding online business meetings. However, these devices also track and store many details about our activities.

This is why the prosecution will most definitely seize any computer, smartphone, smart watch and other similar devices to analyze their contents for incriminatory details. This is what digital forensics does.

How Can a Defense Attorney Use Forensic Evidence to Your Advantage?

As we said at the beginning of this article, all forensic evidence collected by the prosecutor must be made available to your criminal defense attorney during the discovery phase.

By hiring expert witnesses, the lawyer may get your charges reduced or dropped by:

  • Presenting a valid and different interpretation of the evidence that exonerates you
  • Casting doubt on the way the evidence was collected, preserved an analyzed
  • Showing that the evidence does not indicate your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt

Let an Experienced Nashville Murder Defense Lawyer Fight for You!

In a murder case, every small detail can make the difference between a guilty and a not guilty verdict. An experienced Nashville murder defense lawyer can find this detail precisely in the forensic evidence the prosecution presents against you.

Do not take any chance when it comes to your life and freedom. Contact us as soon as possible after being charged with murder to schedule a free case review: 615-255-9595!

Byron L. Pugh
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