1. Forensic scientists can determine how long ago a gun was last fired.

2. Mixed DNA samples from multiple people can be separated and identified.

3. People always leave fingerprints behind when they touch things.

4. Biological evidence of a sexual assault usually remains on victims for at least 24 hours.

5. A gun that has been tossed in a lake and left for a year can still be matched to fired rounds.

Answers

1. False

2. True

3. False

4. False

5. True

PROCESSING TIMES

n TV time: By the time detectives have brewed a cup of coffee the lab has identified the suspect.

n Real time: A scientist can get a DNA case finished in a couple of days – if he doesn’t do anything else. Realistically, getting results takes up to two months. About 50 percent of DNA samples exonerate suspects.

With other services, including firearm and drug analysis, the crime lab aims to get cases finished in fewer than 30 days. Toxicology samples sent out of state can take more than a month to get results.


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