DNA Database Implicates The Innocent

More legislative oversight is needed to control the unofficial expansion of the U.S. forensic DNA database to ensure that innocent citizens are not unfairly implicated in crimes, says Slate.com.

More legislative oversight is needed to control the unofficial expansion of the U.S. forensic DNA database to ensure that innocent citizens are not unfairly implicated in crimes, says Slate.com. "The U.S. forensic DNA database has expanded rapidly in recent years. While it was originally authorized to store the DNA profiles of only convicted violent felons, the FBI now includes all federal offenders—including arrestees not yet convicted of any crime—as well as convicts from all 50 states and arrestees from many. Such expansions of the database are troubling, but at least they are explicit. More worrisome is the effective inclusion of many innocent individuals in the database, via novel and almost completely unregulated search techniques called 'partial matching' and 'familial searching.' By adopting one or both of these search techniques, some states are quietly expanding database coverage to 'virtually' include the innocent relatives of profiled offenders—nearly always without any legislative oversight."

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