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
April 18, 2014
Six years after a grant-awarding controversy shook up the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention little has change...
April 17, 2014
The nation's top cops gather in DC to discuss 'fundamental shift' in thinking about drugs.
April 16, 2014
Have the media and policymakers overblown the latest heroin “epidemic?”
special report April 15, 2014
Locking away mentally ill inmates in solitary was standard practice in SC prisons until a judge ordered major changes. Other states face ...
April 11, 2014
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange takes an inside look at the often inscrutable OJJDP grant distribution process
special report April 10, 2014
The DOJ’s insistence on state compliance with 288 regulatory standards keeps the program’s implementation in limbo, say critics
April 9, 2014
A coding flaw discovered last weekend may have made millions of Web users vulnerable to hackers and criminals