Familial DNA searches ?
This is a discussion on Familial DNA searches ? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; OK to use blind hits of familial DNA taken from convicts to look at their family members who are not in "the system"?
July 26th, 2010 02:06 PM
Familial DNA searches ?
OK to use blind hits of familial DNA taken from convicts to look at their family members who are not in "the system"?
"As an individual forensic geneticist, I think it is unconscionable not to use this method when there is a continuing threat to public safety [from] an ongoing, serious string of crimes."
Convicts have given up privacy rights by violating the law, but their family members have not. This is overreaching by law enforcement, a possible violation of civil rights.
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I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro
July 26th, 2010 02:26 PM
Maybe O.K. in very unusual, difficult and important cases, but not as a general rule.
I am a tad skeptical of the gee whiz claims for DNA technology. Not that it can't produce wonderful results, but complex technology can produce errors that go unrealized and undetected. It matters not that statistically the chance of being misidentified is very low.
There was a recent report news of a woman who won 4 lotteries and her chances were said to be 1 in 10 to 24 power. Lottery officials insisted it was for real and no fraud was involved. There is a lesson for DNA use in that story. Corroborate, corroborate, corroborate, and don't rely on one piece of information.
July 26th, 2010 06:24 PM
I have no problem with this at all. The people being tested are already in the system, they are just using that DNA to see if anything is close enough to be family on unsolved crimes. Of course they should follow up any "possible family" with an investigation including a DNA sample from the suspect.
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