DNA: 25 years in Canadian courtooms

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Tony Blais, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:15 PM ET

 EDMONTON — DNA evidence was used for the first time in a Canadian courtroom in Edmonton 25 years ago.

The Crown introduced the then-revolutionary type of genetic analysis to try to link an alleged sex offender -- dubbed the Spandex Rapist because he wore ladies underwear over spandex pants -- to several rape victims.

However, the bold legal move backfired when the hair and blood samples taken from the accused did not match the samples of semen and other body fluids taken from garments worn by three of his seven alleged victims; the DNA evidence instead helped to clear the man.

DNA analysis has come a long way in the past quarter century and its use has revolutionized policing in Canada. It's been instrumental in helping put away criminals and exonerate those persons wrongfully convicted.


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