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Is DNA the New Fingerprint?

There are two sides to every opinion. One such example is the controversy over whether or not DNA should be collected from people arrested for a felony. A recent article, Prosecutor backs expanded DNA Testing, does a good job of explaining each side of the controversy. The main argument is whether or not collecting DNA from a non-convicted person is a violation of their 4th Amendment right.

Lawmakers hope that by passing the law to collect DNA samples from individuals arrested for a felony will reduce crime and help solve other crimes that have not been able to be solved yet. They are calling this collection “DNA fingerprinting” and explaining that it is a more accurate and precise fingerprint, which is already taken when the individual is arrested. DNA fingerprinting will tell officials the gender and identity of the person and will allow them to run the sample through the CODIS database to see if it matches DNA samples in any unsolved cases.

The Supreme Court has referred to the collection of DNA as a “legitimate booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment”. Although the Supreme Court refers to it that way, many people have reservations about DNA fingerprinting. In the article Ann Lambert, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, states people “should be viewed as innocent in the eyes of the law” until proven otherwise and therefore should not have to give a DNA sample during the booking process.

DNA testing is a very important tool. Not only can it help in criminal cases, but it can also be important in family cases. ARCpoint Labs of Woburn offers a wide range of DNA testing for cases of paternity, immigration, ancestry and others. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more, please call 781.460.6020 or visit www.ARCpointLabs.com/Woburn.

 

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