Congressional Digest

Supreme Court Debates April 2013 No. 4 Vol. 16
DNA Testing of Arrestees

DNA Testing of Arrestees

Genetic Identification and the Right to Privacy

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Excerpt

Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a building block of life. Every cell of almost every living thing contains DNA, and every human’s DNA is unique. Through scientific analysis, hair, skin, blood, fingernails — any human matter — can be traced back to a specific individual with 99.986 percent certainty.

Because DNA can serve as a “genetic fingerprint,” it has become a very useful tool in modern law enforcement, employed by police and prosecutors to definitively link suspects to crimes, often in cases where other evidence is inconclusive. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has created a database — th…

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