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Personal genetics in policy and social issues: Crime and forensics Personal genetics in policy and social issues: Crime and forensics.

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Presentation on theme: "Personal genetics in policy and social issues: Crime and forensics Personal genetics in policy and social issues: Crime and forensics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personal genetics in policy and social issues: Crime and forensics Personal genetics in policy and social issues: Crime and forensics

2 Do Now: Imagine that there have been a string of murders that appear to be the work of the same person; the police have a few leads but little conclusive evidence. There is DNA believed to be that of the murderer at the crime scenes, but it doesn’t match DNA in the criminal databases. The police don’t have enough evidence to get a warrant to search the lead suspect’s house, but they do obtain a warrant to get a sample of DNA from a medical test of the suspect’s (adult) daughter. She does not know about or consent to this. 1.Should the police be able to take a DNA sample, without permission, from the child of a suspect? Why or why not? 2. If you were a relative of one of the victims, would you support this method? Why? 3. If you were a relative of the suspect, would you support this? Why?

3 BTK Serial Killer – Dennis Rader Source: El Dorado Police Department

4 personal genetics education project Database of genetic information that is maintained by law enforcement agencies “Forensic Index”: DNA collected at a crime scene “Offender Index”: DNA collected from people who are arrested or convicted of a crime Big Idea: Compare DNA from the forensic and offender indexes to find matches What is a criminal DNA database?

5 personal genetics education project There are 11,091,500+ people who are part of the “offender index” in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) in the US as of 8/2012. CODIS: FBI’s program for linking the federal, state and local DNA profiles in a single database 447,300 samples in the “forensic index” (found at a crime scene) Who is in our various state and federal DNA databases?

6 personal genetics education project Policies vary from state to state. In all 50 states: a felony conviction gets you into the database. In some, but not, all states, you are added to CODIS if you are: 1. Convicted of a misdemeanor 2. Arrested for a felony 3. Arrested for a misdemeanor What do you have to do to get into a criminal database? What do you have to do to get into a criminal database?

7 Graffiti False Advertising Misdemeanors include: Disorderly Conduct (ex: protests) e_galleries/banksy_gallery.shtml?30

8 personal genetics education project The databases are expanding – states are widening the criteria for entrance into their databases (New York State just expanded all people convicted of a misdemeanor in March 2012). CODIS is growing at a rate of 80,000 new additions annually. Scientific leaps are creating new opportunities and challenges. Familial searching – also known as “partial match” searching – has generated interest and controversy. What has changed in the last 14 years since CODIS was established?

9 Familial Searching Familial searching targets specific family members of people already in a DNA database. Law enforcement runs a DNA crime scene sample to look for a match in database - partial match rather than exact match. Look in records to see if the person in database has a close relative who could be a suspect - if so, investigate further, interview, possibly secretly obtain DNA sample (from a cup, cigarette, pizza crust, etc.).

10 Has produced some amazing breakthroughs in cases – caught BTK, Grim Sleeper, Shoe Rapist and has exonerated innocent people But, critics say this creates an entire group of people subject to indefinite genetic surveillance Disproportionately impacts minorities, i.e. African-Americans make up 13% of population, but 40% prison population US Bureau of Justice Statistics AP file photo Darryl Hunt reacts after being cleared of charges after 19 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit

11 personal genetics education project What are the scientific controversies?


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