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Copyright (c) 2012 St. John's University
Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development

NOTE AND COMMENT: DNA COLLECTION AT BIRTH: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF IDENTIFICATION

Winter, 2012

Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development*

26 J. Civ. Rts. & Econ. Dev. 303

Author

Lena M. Carlucci*

Excerpt



Introduction
 
Please consider the following three scenarios:


 
1. Three women get raped at knifepoint in the same Brooklyn neighborhood within a span of four months. After performing a rape kit on the first victim, the police placed the attacker's DNA in the New York State DNA databank, but did not find any matches. Although the attacker was suspected by the NYPD to be associated with a series of muggings the year before, he was never formally arrested.

2. A terrorist attack is successfully launched on lower Manhattan. After diligent search efforts, local authorities are left with the unidentified remains of approximately one thousand people.

3. A three-year-old girl, who was adopted by her parents at birth, gets abducted from a local Long Island playground. Ten years later, the FBI thinks they may have found her.
 
Since its discovery, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) has been used in a variety of ways, most notably in criminal investigations and prosecutions. Every state government, along with the federal government, currently requires individuals to surrender a sample of their DNA in certain situations. 1 The issue of compulsory DNA collection is a very controversial one that is currently being debated on both national and state levels. The central arguments focus on who should be forced to give their DNA to law enforcement, when they should be forced to surrender it, and whether such forced procedures are constitutional. Currently, New York State law requires criminals convicted of all felonies and eighteen specified ...
 
 
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