DNA Case Essay Sample

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Write a 350 to 700 word summary describing if the collection of DNA without consent unreasonably intrudes on an arrestees’ expectation of privacy. How long can police keep your DNA on file after an arrest or conviction? Can law enforcement use a person’s DNA to match against other crimes unrelated to the one they initially obtained it for? Provide examples and or reasons.

The collection of DNA without consent can unreasonably be seen as intruding on someone who has been not been arrested however if someone has been arrested, then consider their expectat ion of privacy voided. The Federal Government and 28 states have authorized taking DNA samples from people who are arrested in connection with serious crimes. The government sees taking DNA swabs from those arrested with serious crimes the same way as they see taking fingerprints and pictures and is considered a legitimate booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. This can allow for cold cases that have not been able to be solved the opportunity to find key suspects in some of the heinous crimes that have yet to be solved. It is believed that testing DNA from suspects, even if they are not found to be liable for the crime being tested for.

Since it is legal in 29 of the 50 states to go through garbage to attain any human DNA from garbage- such as used utensils, saliva, garbage and hair strands without a court order present, any law enforcement agency can rummage through your garbage at any time and use the information to gather your DNA. Once your DNA is given whether its involuntary – like gathering it from your garbage, or voluntarily from collecting DNA swabs consider your DNA to be kept forever and be entered into CODIS or the Combined DNA Index System which all Federal and State Policing Agencies have access to. Having your DNA in CODIS allows you to be searched throughout the entire country and it will tell the agency running your DNA if you have been involved with another crime in which you left traces of your DNA.

If a connection is found, even though you may have given your DNA voluntarily, you will be held and arrested for the crime you were a part of. Unfortunately at this time there is no law against running your DNA against CODIS even though there are states and their Supreme Courts debating this information as we speak. For example – the article we read in which Mr. Chatt was followed and had his DNA taken from his garbage. He was followed by agents since he was a suspect in his wife’s sisters murder. Once his DNA was collected and scanned against the murder suspect they found that his DNA was not a match and he was let go, however his DNA is still within CODIS.

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