Expanding government DNA archives form major debate on involving innocent people

The shadow of “big brother” watching you comes out in print within this piece about massive forensic DNA collection in numerous states. California has the biggest database.

“The question is: Do we want the government to have all these genetic samples?” said Elizabeth E. Joh, a professor of law at the University of California, Davis. “There are other ways the government can use these databases.”

Joh said advancing DNA science also means samples obtained for CODIS can yield increasingly personal information about people and their families. For example, she said, California allows searches that can lead to not only suspects themselves but also relatives of people in the database.

also from the late Justice Scalia:

A 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Maryland case upheld the practice but drew sharp criticism from the four dissenting justices. In a scathing dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “Make no mistake about it: As an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”

One prosecutor says that we leave our DNA all over the place anyway, so what’s the big deal?

I suppose future generations shall find out what the “deal” will be.


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
This entry was posted in Civil rights, criminal justice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s