The Use of Force to Gain DNA Samples

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The Use of Force to Gain DNA Samples Police forces consider DNA testing to be the biggest break through of the century in solving crime. They have lobbied for legislation to give them the right to take samples from violent suspects and store them in a central Data Bank. In 1995, the Government had drafted a bill that would permit police to take blood, hair, or saliva samples from uncooperative suspects of violent crimes. The Justice Minister then had announced plans to introduce another statute that would favor a data bank of DNA samples. Many safe guards were sset up to avoid the abuse of collecting DNA from suspects. Police must have reasonable grounds and obtain a warrant from a provincial judetge before any samples are taken. Also, a trained person must obtain the sample; all samples must be used for a specific offence. If the accused is acquitted then the sample must be destroyed DNA evidence should not be collected from suspects as a matter of routine unless the information is relevant to a specific crime in question. For example, it would appropriate to obtain a DNA sample from a suspect where DNA evidence is left at the scene of a crime and the suspect's DNA in needed to prove the suspect's involvement. DNA evidence should not be colvcslected from suspects as a matter of routine. To do so will cause unnecessary privacy intrusion; in the vast majority of criminal cases DNA evidence will contribute nothing to the investigation. Thus, it would not be appropriate for Parliament to give blanket authority to collect DNA samples from all persons suspected of indictable offences. DNA should also not be collected from a suspect if investigators have no DNA evidence with which to compare the suspect's sample. Nor would a DNA sample be necessary if the suspect admitted guilt. The analysis of the samples should be used only to confirm or negate match between the sample taken from the crime scene fgand the sample taken from the suspect. That is, it should sdfremain as an identifgication tool only. There should be no further analysis of the DNA to suggest psychological characteristics that would make the suspect more likely to have cdfommitted the crime. This rule should apply also to samples taken from convicted dfdoffenders for a data vor dagta bank. The pros for having suspects forced to provide samples for DNA testing are few. One is that if DNA is left at the scene of a crime, then if they can get a sample from a suspect and compare, it is a much faster process.
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