Open up DNA Databases to All

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 10:21am

By Dianne Dimond

ShutterstockIn many criminal cases, the prosecution holds the key to what could be the most important evidence of the trial — DNA. Prosecutors in most states have exclusive access to CODIS, the national database of more than 11 million DNA samples, which is considered to be the gold standard in forensic-based investigations. CODIS is used in two ways — to match a known suspect to a crime or to find an unknown suspect who may have been entered into the system years earlier.

So why doesn’t everyone get to have access to the system? Consider that we, the American taxpayers, have annually paid out multimillions of dollars (ever since the DNA Identification Act was passed in 1994) to build this massive database of DNA samples. But if we find ourselves in trouble and our lawyer discovers DNA evidence that needs to be checked out — we’re not allowed access?

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Source: Rockland County Times


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