DNA Database/ Profiling
Debate Rounds (5)
www.cnn.org (Privacy vs. Prosecution)
Based off a study in the University of Virginia, 23.4 % of people who are stored in a database who have had a past of violent crimes are more likely to be convicted of crime within three years compared to those who are unprofiled. Meaning, those who have already been convicted are likely to commit more crimes and with their information in the DNA database, they are easier to apprehend, compared to their unprofiled counterparts. The argument of DNA databases are an invasion of privacy become irrelevant as databases consist of convicted criminals and those tried for criminal acts. Therefore, based off the data listed above, it is a benefit to have these insertions of DNA. Looking at those who are in DNA databases without criminal records. Their DNA can reveal medical records that may assist in future prevention of that family. It can also allow doctors a look at possible diseases based off past generations. There are multiple privacy laws in place for the privacy of DNA.
DNA has consistently helped police officers find the perpetrators of criminals. In New Zealand, their hit rate for crime samples are 58%. Meaning, 58% of all crime samples entered into the DNA database will correspond with an individual of the National DNA database. 34% of all crime samples entered onto the Crime Sample Database will connect or correspond to another crime. The Texas Department of Public Safety worked with The DNA Index System (CODIS) and the results were clearly evident. Since 1998, the DNA lab has helped solve 644 homicides, 3,399 sexual assaults, 4,273 burglaries, 556 robberies, and hundreds of other crimes in Texas along with other states. Throughout history, technology has advance exponentially and with that has come the DNA database. Several cases that could not be solved and all leads were exhausted are left untouched. These are referred to as "Cold Cases." Evidence from all cases is then stored and left alone normally. However; DNA database has allowed for a new world of possibilities when it came to evidence. With the extraction of DNA that can be found on things including finger prints, hair, and bodily fluids, along with the large amount of people within databases, new possibilities for finding the perpetrators has occurred with the advancements in technology. DNA databases also helps solve crimes that tie together. An example is a man known as the Twilight Rapist. With the DNA databases searching for those who have been incriminated for sexual assaults, it was possible to find the man and the police realized he was a serial rapist. A DNA test presented the same DNA that was seen on the women and crime scene which allowed the incarceration and imprisonment of this criminal.
Large DNA databases are connected to lower crime rates. DNA databases have other benefits besides the assistance of finding perpetrators. DNA databases yield a plethora of other benefits. One being, the reduction of crimes being committed. In a study from 2000 to 2008, it was concluded that DNA databases were associated to a reduction of crimes including the following:
A 6.6% decrease in rapes
A 2.9% decrease in aggravated assaults
A 3.2% decrease in murders
A 5.4% decrease in vehicle thefts.
These numbers demonstrate that those who are considering committing these crimes are more wary due to the extraction of DNA at crime scenes and the greater possibility of being convicted. Although these numbers may seem small, they are still significant decreases that would be non-existent without the presence of DNA databases. It is better to have decreasing crime rates because of the association to DNA databases compared to having the same or increasing crime rates without the databases. Also, with time will come advancement in technology and subsequently, better results when using these databases. This can directly relate to more decreasing crime rates. Criminals and offenders who are attempting crimes and are unaware of the cautions to take are deterred from committing such crimes in the fear of being caught due to leaving evidence such as DNA. DNA databases result in fewer catches for multiple reasons. These include a decreased amount of crimes and fewer, but more accurate arrests because of the reliability of DNA databases.
DNA databases are more cost effective compared to other police counterparts. Without the use of DNA databases, it becomes more difficult to find individual subjects. This normally means increasing the task force by hiring more police officers which can result to the price of $26,300 to $62,500. The cost of preventing a serious offence by using DNA profiling is 70$. Calculations state that DNA databases are between 100 and 1,000 times more cost-effective compared to other law enforcement tools. Collecting and analyzing a DNA sample found in a crime scene is less than $40. In the United States, DNA samples in some cases only cost less than $20. Looking at the costs of crimes, DNA databases increase savings. Each profile resulted in 0.57 fewer serious offenses. Some believe the amount it costs to insert someone into a DNA database is too much. There is a price required to pay. Federal governments and 2010 spent approximately 30.5 million adding 761,509 offender profiles to DNA databases. However; because of this, the government saved 21 billion by preventing new crimes. Subtracting these numbers, you get a twenty billion, nine hundred, sixty-nine million, five hundred thousand difference. As seen through these calculations, it is much more beneficiary to collect DNA samples compared to none at all.
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