DNA databases: crime fighting weapon or threat to privacy
1- A DNA database is a database that contains a profile of bodily fluid left by criminals at the crime scenes. It has developed by the biology laboratory of the Florida department of law enforcement. These profiles are sent to nationwide DNA bank. There are several benefits of these DNA databases.
First, the DNA can be used as evidence in trials. It allows criminals to be identified by their own genes. Second, the computer analysis can discover the identity of a criminal by matching DNA from blood, hair, saliva, or other body fluid left at the crime scene with a DNA profile in the database. Third, it can prove someone is innocent.
2- Although DNA databases have lots of benefits, it poses lots of problems. They pose a risk to innocent people if they (databases) contain data on people who are convicted criminals. Also the people who collect DNA and analyze them can make mistakes witch lead to a wrongful outcome in the court. And finally, it may be chance that innocent people may be suspected as criminal if any hair or bodily fluids found at criminal. There might be valid reasons for an innocent person’s DNA to be at a crime scene. 3- According to the bush’s administration, the national DNA database should includes, beside the criminals and convicted people of course, the juveniles or the people who have been accused but not convicted. If we look at it from another perspective, it should be limited to convicted felons only because they are included in the criminal activity.DNA samples taken when people are arrested must be destroyed if the individual is not charged or convicted. 4- DNA databases should be used only by the law enforcement units or the security agency because of the sensitive information these databases indlude.
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