Sunday, April 19, 2009

FBI: DNA analasyt

For many years the Federal Bureau of Investigations would collect DNA samples from people who were convicted of homicides or sexual offences in the United States. The DNA was usually stored in a database for the FBI to keep on file in case it was needed again. Starting this month the Federal Bureau of Investigations will be collecting and cataloging DNA from people who have been arrested and awaiting trial and also detained immigrants. This is being done to help solve more crimes but at the same time many concerns are surfacing about the privacy of people who have committed minor offences and people who are alleged innocent. The DNA database currently contains about 6.7 million profiles and with this new procedure in effect there will be an estimated 80,000 new entries a year and by 2012 will increase to an estimated 1.2 million new entries. Collecting DNA from every person who has been arrested will help convict guilty criminals and rule out the innocent ones because DNA is stronger than any physical evidence. Law enforcement officials are saying that taking a DNA sample is no different than being finger printed upon arrest because no two people are alike. Rock Harmon, a former prosecutor for Alameda County, Calif., and an adviser to crime laboratories, said “DNA demographics reflected the criminal population. Even if an innocent man’s DNA was included in a genetic database it would come to nothing without a crime scene sample to match it.”

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