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bkt 04-17-2008 11:44 AM

Feds to begin collecting DNA from citizens
 
What do you all think of this?

Feds to collect DNA from every person they arrest
By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Apr 16, 7:39 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The government plans to begin collecting DNA samples from anyone arrested by a federal law enforcement agency a move intended to prevent violent crime but which also is raising concerns about the privacy of innocent people.

Using authority granted by Congress, the government also plans to collect DNA samples from foreigners who are detained, whether they have been charged or not. The DNA would be collected through a cheek swab, Justice Department spokesman Erik Ablin said Wednesday. That would be a departure from current practice, which limits DNA collection to convicted felons.

Expanding the DNA database, known as CODIS, raises civil liberties questions about the potential for misuse of such personal information, such as family ties and genetic conditions.

Ablin said the DNA collection would be subject to the same privacy laws applied to current DNA sampling. That means none of it would be used for identifying genetic traits, diseases or disorders.

Congress gave the Justice Department the authority to expand DNA collection in two different laws passed in 2005 and 2006.

There are dozens of federal law enforcement agencies, ranging from the FBI to the Library of Congress Police. The federal government estimates it makes about 140,000 arrests each year.

Justice officials estimate the new collecting requirements would add DNA from an additional 1.2 million people to the database each year.

Those who support the expanded collection believe that DNA sampling could get violent criminals off the streets and prevent them from committing more crimes.

A Chicago study in 2005 found that 53 murders and rapes could have been prevented if a DNA sample had been collected upon arrest.

"Many innocent lives could have been saved had the government began this kind of DNA sampling in the 1990s when the technology to do so first became available," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said. Kyl sponsored the 2005 law that gave the Justice Department this authority.

Thirteen states have similar laws: Alaska, Arizona, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The new regulation would mean that the federal government could store DNA samples of people who are not guilty of any crime, said Jesselyn McCurdy, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Now innocent people's DNA will be put into this huge CODIS database, and it will be very difficult for them to get it out if they are not charged or convicted of a crime," McCurdy said.

If a person is arrested but not convicted, he or she can ask the Justice Department to destroy the sample.

The Homeland Security Department the federal agency charged with policing immigration supports the new rule.

"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool," DHS spokesman Russ Knocke said.

The rule would not allow for DNA samples to be collected from immigrants who are legally in the United States or those being processed for admission, unless the person was arrested.

The proposed rule is being published in the Federal Register. That will be followed by a 30-day comment period.

gnoll 04-17-2008 12:24 PM

i have never been arrested so i think this is a great way to solve crimes

HankStone 04-17-2008 02:11 PM

I "think" giving DNA is a good idea for the average Citizen,see LEOs/Judge it wasn't me now back off.

I also "think" in time it will be part of our personal identification??

Dillinger 04-17-2008 02:22 PM

On the surface this sounds like a great idea, but CODIS isn't even linked to all the states that have similar methods of sampling now.

There was a place in Nebraska or Texas that I saw a Forensics Files on that had checked CODIS for a match on an unsolved crime, only to let the "suspected" killer walk and find out after he re-offended that the department where he was sampled prior had not uploaded his sample previously. If they uploaded, he would have been found out when he was caught for the first murder and not allowed to walk & re-offend.

If the government can guarentee that ALL the samples will be available and uploaded, almost immediately, then I think this would be a very powerful tool in the interest of closing cases and punishing the guilty. However, judging by the level of commitment to CODIS now, I don't see that happening.

I am all for locking up the bad guys, since executing them doesn't seem to be popular anymore, so any tool that takes them off the streets and keeps them off - I am for it.

That said, the justice system needs to be overhauled to insure these guys are put away for good, preferably in some gladiator academy where they can kill each other off.

Anyone know where I can rent a chopper and get my hands on a few thousand sharp instruments? Fly over the exercise yard, make one big dump, pull the guards out and let the prisioners thin themselves out.

Anyone else think that plan would work? :cool:

notdku 04-18-2008 05:38 PM

What happened to the threads?
 
The database got corrupted yesterday so I have to load a backup of the forum from the previous night. Some threads got corrupted. All should be well now! :)

Dillinger 04-18-2008 06:15 PM

Thank you for the explanation and the diligence on our behalf. :D

D

hillbilly68 04-19-2008 06:09 AM

OK, I guess I am just ignorant of what does and does not go on in the criminal justice world. I thought that they were already doing this (collecting DNA form convicted). I am shocked that they were not. As for those that are detained foreigners - who cares. They are not US citizens. Those citizens that are arrested then proven innocent, not sure what the right answer is.
Don't know if the masses know this or not, but DNA has been collected from all US military members since the early 90s. Think that will ever be removed from the database after service is complete? Nope. And we are typically the test bed for social programs, so it isn't shocking to me that this is moving forward.


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