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DNA Retention for Criminal Investigation - Assignment Example

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As the paper outlines, DNA retention for criminal investigation has been appreciated and has been criticized in different aspects in different regions. It can genuinely become a problem for people who have been arrested for a recordable offense but had been released for not being guilty…
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DNA Retention for Criminal Investigation
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Download file to see previous pages The present paper has identified that in 2003, the law was altered to collect DNA on the arrest of a recordable crime rather than just a point of charge. This principle of maintaining the DNA of anyone arrested highlighted countless innocent people including children who had never been convicted but have their DNA retained in the Database forever. Because of this, the DNA database is considered extremely discriminatory. In the year 2008, this issue was brought up by the European Court of Human Rights in S and Marper v UK case and concluded that this policy violates the rights to privacy of innocent people under the European Convention of Human Rights. Then in 2010, in answer to this issue, the law was passed which restricts the DNA retention of innocent people. Six years was confirmed for the adults and three years for children. (Michael Lwin, 2010) Still, this policy continued to create discrimination and stayed arguable among many regions. In 2010, the Government was again compelled to modify the law and shift to the ‘Scottish model’ which defines the right to destroy DNA of anyone arrested but not charged or charged but later found not guilty for most offenses. It also explains the policy of limited time DNA retention for people who were charged with serious wrongdoings like sexual assault or violence (Bruce Barbour; NSW Ombudsman.; New South Wales. Office of the Ombudsman, 2006). The collection of DNA samples are still a major subject of discrimination among many innocent people. It has given a significant boom to social and ethical issues which are because most arrestees were found innocent of the crime but their DNA was kept for an indefinite time. Moreover, if innocent people’s DNA is kept in a police database, it is possible that the DNA might match or partially match the DNA found at the locations of crime. This can create a big problem for a person who has been once arrested but never convicted or anyone who is totally innocent. This issue is ethically and socially correct as innocent people would be suspected of criminal activities at the crime scene where their DNA is even slightly similar. A DNA sample illustrates sensitive information about an individual’s genetics, for instance, family relations and diseases vulnerability. Naturally, no one likes his or her personal information to be accessible. Police, forensic science department and researchers using this sensitive information without the consent of the DNA beholder have offended any innocent people who have given their DNA. They see it as a violation of their civil liberties and interference in the personal privacy of an individual ( Andromachi Tseloni; Ken Pease, 2011). It has been observed in the United Kingdom’s criminal DNA database that racial minorities are overrepresented in the number of arrestees. Now this gives rise to racial differences and institutionalized racial biases in the criminal justice department. When a large number of minorities are populating the DNA database, police would be likely to suspect one from the minorities rather than the actual criminal. This way an innocent individual would be convicted only because of the race he falls in. DNA retention for the Criminal Investigation Department has raised several concerns among many innocent people but we must not overlook the good it does for the criminals who should be actually punished. DNA retention serves the police department in many ways too. Likewise, it is observed that the majority of the crimes are committed by the people who have been already arrested for other offenses. If the DNA database already has the DNA bank, it could become very easy for the police to identify the suspect or criminal.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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