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New York State Passes DNA Requirement For Almost All Convicted Criminals 260

Posted by Soulskill
from the accused-did-knowingly-and-recklessly-loiter dept.
New submitter greatgreygreengreasy writes "According to NPR, 'Lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals. Most states, including New York, already collect DNA samples from felons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. What's remarkable about the New York bill is that it would expand the state's database to include DNA from people convicted of almost any crime, even misdemeanors as minor as jumping over a subway turnstile.' Gattaca seems closer than we may have thought. Richard Aborn, one of the bill's backers, said, 'We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.'"
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New York State Passes DNA Requirement For Almost All Convicted Criminals

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  • Horrible argument (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anubis IV (1279820) on Friday March 16, 2012 @11:51AM (#39378449)

    We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.

    I'm curious how many people who are generally considered to be law-abiding citizens have a misdemeanor at some point in their past which did not lead to later felonies. I'd really like to see that number, becaue I bet it would dwarf the amount of people who escalated their criminal activity to felonies later in life. How many criminals do you have to apprehend using these new samples to justify getting samples for all of those law-abiding folks?

  • Who "owns" your DNA? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:06PM (#39378731)

    One thing I'm worried about is the moment when the owner of these DNA databases figures out that they can start selling the information to stakeholders like drug companies. What rights do even felons have to ensure this sort of thing never happens?

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:10PM (#39378801)
    Let's see...
    • The attorney general's office has the power to declare laws, and then to enforce the laws that it declares
    • The police now meet the definition of a paramilitary force, and get large amounts of surplus military equipment from the US military each year.
    • Law enforcement agencies in America have vast, secret intelligence operations
    • Law enforcement agencies in New York are now known to have secretly monitored innocent people, for no reason other than their religion
    • There are so many laws in effect that the police can arrest almost anyone on a whim -- they are nearly guaranteed to find a violation it they simply watch a person go about their daily business. People have even been arrested and prosecuted solely for resisting arrest.
    • There are more prisoners in the United States than in any other country, including authoritarian countries with larger populations (China). Only the USSR and Nazi Germany had larger prison populations.

    Do you really need to ask why people are opposed to further increases in police power?

  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:11PM (#39378805)
    Fingerprinting has never been subject to a peer reviewed study for accuracy. It is just accepted that they are close enough to unique to work. In general, "forensic science" isn't science.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:11PM (#39378815)

    When you take away everything, you have nothing to lose! And someone with nothing to lose is the most dangerous thing in the world!

    That's so right.

    Once you get a criminal record, you can never work again. Every employer - even for a shitty minimum wage job - requires background checks. Of course, everybody thinks that if you were arrested, you did something horrible - not that you had a joint and you were charge with possession, intent to distribute and even if you knelt on the ground and handcuffed yourself, you were also charged with resisting arrest.

    We live in a society that, when it comes to taxes, terrorism, drugs, and child molestation or the perception of it; you are guilty until proven innocent. And with the threat of long drawn out trials that are prohibitively expensive and a good chance of being convicted for something, folks take a deal; which ruins them for life.

    Prison isn't for rehabilitation: it's the initial punishment before you're condemned for life to poverty.

    Unless you're a banker or someone with great political connections - a 1%'er.

  • Re:My first thought: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:24PM (#39378985) Homepage

    My first thought was "what's this 'Almost All' thing?" As in who gets excluded? The friends and families of politicians and big business people?

  • by AB3A (192265) on Friday March 16, 2012 @12:39PM (#39379205) Homepage Journal

    So let's suppose you have a family with a checkered past. You have never been convicted of anything. However one day a partial match comes through and lo and behold, your father's DNA doesn't quite match, but they suspect a family member. Can they compel you to submit to a DNA test?

    Hasn't your father 's DNA just convicted you?

    In other words, old DNA evidence might be used on a fishing expedition to convict family members as well. Is that reasonable? I'm not so sure about that.

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