After the Supreme Court's ruling allowing seizure of arrestees' DNA, the Washington Post notes that the technology is far from fulfilling its promise of aiding law enforcement to identify criminals and letting the innocent go free. A Department of Justice study estimated that around 900,000 requests for biological screening, mostly DNA testing, were backlogged nationally at the end of 2009. The large numbers of kits from routine arrests may be making the problem worse, argues University of Virginia law Prof. Brandon Garrett. "As taking more DNA from arrestees has increased, the backlogs have increased at the expense of testing DNA from actual crime scenes," he said. Garrett said that simply adding a DNA sample from everyone who is arrested might even make it harder for police to identify criminals, increasing the likelihood of false positives without adding any perpetrators to the system. Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project, agreed, and disagrees with the court ruling, saying that its reasoning could open the way for large numbers of minor offenders’ DNA profiles to be pointlessly added to databases.
TCR at a Glance
new & notable December 19, 2014
The nation's population of people under supervision of the corrections system decreased by 0.6 percent in 2013, according to the Bureau o...
new & notable December 18, 2014
A new study finds startling parallels in firearms-related deaths since 2003
Year In Review December 17, 2014
Readers select a whistleblower who went public with a scathing critique of the government’s $9 billion settlement with JPMorgan Cha...
q & a December 17, 2014
Alayne Fleischmann, the JP Morgan whistleblower selected as The Crime Report’s 2014 Newsmaker of the Year, says the U.S. still hasn...
new & notable December 16, 2014
There are 16 conviction integrity units in the country, six of which were launched in the last year, according to a report by the Center ...
new & notable December 15, 2014
A survey of inmates in Ohio and Kentucky finds certain violent crimes are probably more prevalent than officials realize
new & notable December 12, 2014
More than eight in 10 respondents to a national poll said juvenile offenders should not be sent to corrections facilities