Tag: Criminal Justice

California justice and DNA databases

By Razib Khan | May 11, 2011 1:20 pm

Whenever people question me throwing my genotype into the public domain I express the honest opinion that genetic transparency is only a matter of time, and that the government will have all this stuff on file at some point within the next 10 years in any case.  I’ve talked about the utilization of the DNA of one family member to catch another before. This is particularly useful because criminal activity tends to be elevated in some families vs. others. California is now pushing ahead with this method, State to double crime searches using family DNA:

Although such genetic sleuthing, known as familial searching, remains controversial — California is one of only three states that permit the technique — Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has increased the budget to double the number of such searches and reduce a DNA backlog.

“California is on the cutting edge of this in many ways,” Harris, who replaced Jerry Brown as the state’s top law enforcement officer in January, said in an interview last week. “I think we are going to be a model for the country. I really do.”

California’s early success with familial searching — it led to the arrest of the suspect in the Grim Sleeper serial killings last summer — has spurred calls for using the science to trace criminals nationwide. Virginia recently joined California and Colorado in permitting such searches.

I’d bet that the discussion of whether this should be done is now a moot point. Rather, the question is going to be the scope and nature of implementation.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Behavior Genetics, Genetics, Genomics
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