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The Expanding Use of DNA in Law Enforcement: What Role for Privacy?


Mark A. Rothstein


University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law; University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Meghan K. Talbott


University of Louisville School of Medicine

June 21, 2006

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 34, pp. 153-164, Summer 2006

Abstract:     
DNA identification methods are such an established part of our law enforcement and criminal justice systems it is hard to believe that the technologies were developed as recently as the mid-1980s, and that the databases of law enforcement profiles were established in the 1990s. Although the first databases were limited to the DNA profiles of convicted rapists and murderers, the success of these databases in solving violent crimes provided the impetus for Congress and state legislatures to expand the scope of the databases with little critical examination of each expansion’s value to law enforcement or cost to privacy and civil liberties.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

Keywords: DNA, forensics, law enforcement, genetics, databases, search and seizure, privacy

JEL Classification: K31, K32

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Date posted: November 25, 2009 ; Last revised: February 28, 2014

Suggested Citation

Rothstein, Mark A. and Talbott, Meghan K., The Expanding Use of DNA in Law Enforcement: What Role for Privacy? (June 21, 2006). Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 34, pp. 153-164, Summer 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1512746

Contact Information

Mark A. Rothstein (Contact Author)
University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law ( email )
Louisville, KY 40202
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.louisville.edu/bioethics
University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )
Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States
Meghan K. Talbott
University of Louisville School of Medicine ( email )
Louisville, KY
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