Florida v. Tommie Lee Andrews (First DNA Case in United States)

Hello friends of the show!

This episode comes as a recommendation from my wife, Sarena, who thought it would be interesting to take a look at the first case in American history where the prosecutor used DNA evidence.  It turns out this was a fascinating case which took place in Florida (of course it did).  It involved the same prosecutor who tried the Casey Anthony case, and the defense attorney was actually involved in the George Zimmerman trial, so there is a lot of crossover.

In this episode, we look at serial rapist Tommie Lee Andrews, who terrorized women around the Orlando area in 1986.  Andrews left his biological material at approximately 20 different rape or attempted sexual assault scenes.  The trial we focus on today concerns his first victim, where Andrews was a little sloppy, leaving a fingerprint and not thinking to wear a mask in addition to leaving his DNA behind.

What follows is a creative prosecutor who serendipitously sees a magazine advertisement for a lab-conducted paternity test, and wonders whether that technology could be applied to comparing evidence samples.

A brief warning, because we are talking DNA in this episode, there is a few minutes of explaining the DNA extraction and profile creation process as it existed in 1986.  I thought it would be interesting to include, but I'm not a scientist, I am a lawyer, so I tried to keep it brief and focus on what I know.

Please keep the feedback coming!  Thanks for listening.

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