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DNA, Forensics, and the Law

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Publication Date: July 2007

Publisher(s): Genetics and Public Policy Center

Author(s): Dustin Hays; Sara Katsanis

Funder(s): Pew Charitable Trusts

Funder(s): Pew Charitable Trusts

Topic: Health (Medical research and technology)
Justice (Legal procedure)
Law and ethics (Health law)

Keywords: DNA foresnics; Combined DNA Index System

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

Forensic DNA analysis permits law enforcement to match DNA evidence left at a crime scene to the perpetrator of the crime. This technique has facilitated both apprehension of criminals and exoneration of those wrongly arrested or incarcerated. As the use of forensic DNA analysis expands, however, so too do legal and ethical concerns. In particular, concerns have been raised about the infringement on individual privacy, the effect on vulnerable populations, and the quality and capacity of crime laboratories.