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Technological advances in criminal identification procedures - Essay Example

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Ever since, identifying criminals crime has been a very difficult task. But over the last few decades, the advancement in computing system and genetic engineering have increased man's knowledge and ability to speed up the criminal identification process. Some of the tools that are available for law enforcers today include DNA analysis, Biometrics identification, and databases for DNA, Fingerprinting, palm print database, and surveillance systems.
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Technological advances in criminal identification procedures
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Download file to see previous pages DNA analysis is more specific, as each set of nucleic acid in each person is unique. In addition, as DNA from one person's body cell is identical in each cell in the body of that person, a cell sample can be obtained from any part of that person's body. Thus, persons can be identified by referring to a DNA database which compares and matches a person's genetic information other person's DNA profile found in that database (Gans and Urbas, 2002).
DNA analysis still provides limited amounts of information about a person's characteristics though it is believed that in the near future, researches may come up with a better method of DNA analysis (National Institute of Justice 2000, pp. 18-19; van Oorschot et al. 2001). At present, the use of DNA analysis in the judicial system involves comparison of DNA from two origins, for example comparing DNA that came from the location of the crime and that from a criminal (Gans and Urbas, 2002).
Biometrics is the identification method that identifies persons based on their behavior and psychological profile. Often, this method is preferred than others because a person must be present at the identification point at the instance of verification and it eliminates the need for the memorization of passwords and PIN numbers. Biometric profiles increases the level of security by restricting access to that particular person only and can be potentially used in the protection of certain valuables such as ATM cards, cell phones, PCs etc. It has many uses such as for criminology and forensics, but it may have several civilian uses as well in the near future (Ross et al, n.d.).
Aside from not having to memorize keywords or PIN, biometric identification is very accurate and secure, can be done easily and quickly and no documents or paraphernalia is needed to use it ("Biometric identification - advantages", n.d.).
Intra-agency databases for DNA
Intra-agency databases for DNA are actually a collection of DNA records that can be easily accessed by different law enforcement agencies. This will speed up the identification of criminals and solving cases. Law enforcement and other government agencies have been left behind by other sectors in having efficient database systems. This is due to their dependency on public funds, which is often insufficient and/or hastily planned. This lack of a proper criminal identification system slows down or hinders the judicial process. Criminals are aware of this lack of identification system and thus put them at and advantage over the authorities (Schroeder et al, n.d.).
Fingerprint
An Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) analyses, compares and then matches an individual's set of fingerprints against a fingerprint database. This system has various uses including criminal, civilian, electoral, academic purposes etc ("Automated Fingerprint Identification System", 2006).
It is recommended that fingerprint matching be done in two stages namely: "pattern- type combination search" and "minutiae matching". ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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