DNA Databanking: Selected Fourth Amendment Issues and Analysis [June 6, 2011]   [open pdf - 264KB]

"Over the past few decades, state and federal lawmakers have promoted the development of databases containing DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) profiles for individuals who are under the supervision of the criminal justice system due to their known or suspected involvement in a felony or other qualifying crime. Congress has demonstrated concern toward some aspects of DNA databanking by requiring expungement of a DNA profile in certain circumstances, prohibiting most non-forensic uses of DNA profiles and databases, and restricting familial searching. However, in general, Congress has taken a supportive attitude toward DNA databanking and has incentivized the development, expansion, and integration of DNA databases. […] As these issues percolate up to the courts, new advances and revelations in the science of forensic analysis and databanking may have potentially significant legal implications. Several courts have suggested that new forensic techniques and scientific findings would require them to reevaluate their legal conclusions and analysis. In particular, research into the scope and nature of the information revealed by the 'junk' DNA used in forensic analysis may alter how courts measure the intrusiveness of DNA profiling if it suggests that 'junk' DNA reveals more sensitive information about its source than scientists previously thought."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41847
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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