Previously published in Examiner
Part 10 of the Forensic DNA series
Ethical concerns about DNA Testing Continued
At present many law enforcement agencies do not destroy DNA samples from people who were suspected but not actually convicted of the crime. Again, it is conceivable that the entire DNA genome (all genetic information) can leak out into the wrong hands.
There is a backlog of DNA samples that need to be entered into the CODIS database, since there is a statute of limitations in many cases, this information that could have been useful in the determination of verdict in a case will now be rendered useless.
Discretion concerning legal DNA testing for legal purposes
Which cases require DNA testing and why? The rules are different worldwide. In the UK, all arrested persons must submit to a DNA test. Is this a good practice or not? Should the whole DNA history of an individual be revealed to the court system because the arrested individual is suspected of shoplifting? Where should one draw the line?
On the other hand, in the USA, the individual State decides who to test and who not to test. A landmark case changed the practices of the State of New Mexico, regarding DNA testing. The Katie’s Bill was passed requiring DNA testing for almost all felony charges when suspected of a felon. Prior to this law only convicted felons underwent DNA testing, but the murder of Katie Sepich remained unsolved. Her murderer was discovered only years later when his DNA was entered in the database because he was convicted of an entirely different felony. He escaped the first time because he was never convicted. With the new law, anyone arrested even though not yet convicted, will undergo DNA and murderers will be identified much quicker.
Pro-ADN Diagnostic is Montreal’s Major DNA Testing Center
3885 Industriel Blvd.
Laval, QC H7L 4S3
T: (450) 663-6724 ext. 247
F: (450) 663-4428