Budget cuts in England and Wales have reduced independent oversight – and could lead to serious miscarriages of justiceIn a case involving a knife attack in 2015 by a group of young people, one of the three victims who were stabbed was carrying a bag containing some of his clothes, which was discovered at the scene. When examined, the bag was found to have some blood on it that contained DNA matching one of the alleged attackers. To the prosecution – and potentially to a jury when the case went to court – the DNA evidence put the defendant squarely in the frame. Fortunately though, the prosecution’s forensic evidence was checked by a scientist employed by the defendant’s lawyer and paid for by legal aid (which is increasingly rare due to budget cuts).
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