Forensic DNA Databanks
State and Federal DNA databanks are expanding at an alarming rate. A crime prevention tool that was originally intended only to track the most dangerous convicted felons, police departments and other law enforcement agencies across the country have begun collecting and permanently storing DNA from arrestees and other innocent persons. This trend not only represents a grave threat to privacy and the 4th Amendment, but it also turns the legal notion that a person is "innocent until proven guilty" on its head.
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> A Perfect Match? DNA in Law Enforcement
On October 1 the Genetics and Public Policy Center hosted policy makers, the media, and the public for a Genetics Perspectives on Policy Seminar, “A Perfect Match? DNA in Law Enforcement.” Panelists, including ACLU Science Advisor Tania Simoncelli, discussed DNA forensics’ role as a crime-fighting tool, and the technical, legal, and social issues it raises.
View C-SPAN Broadcast
Genetics and Public Policy Center Release
> A New Era of DNA Collections: At What Cost to Civil Liberties?
by Tania Simoncelli and Sheldon Krimsky
In this issue brief, Simoncelli and Krimsky describe the increasing use by law enforcement of DNA databanks and express concern about the civil liberties ramifications of this expansion.
> Interested Persons Memo on HR 3214 and the Tolling of Statutes of Limitations (PDF)
> Dangerous Excursions (pdf)
by Tania Simoncelli
The case against expanding forensic DNA databases to include innocent persons.
> Expanding Databases, Declining Liberties
by Tania Simoncelli and Helen Wallace
The past decade has witnessed an extraordinary growth in DNA databases for use in criminal intelligence and health research, ranging in size from a few hundred to a few million samples.
> California's Proposition 69 (pdf)
by Tania Simoncelli and Barry Steinhardt
The law calls for California to house the most radical and costly state criminal DNA database in the country. This dangerous expansion of California's database poses tremendous threats to civil liberties and social justice while offering little, if anything, by way of increasing the safety of its citizens.