debate response2 complete - Martin 1 Martin Pauler...

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Martin 1 Martin Pauler Professor Henge Ethics Info Age Monday, June 06, 2011 Debate Two Response The topic of this debate was “It would be in the best interests of society if the government constructed a DNA database of every resident and made the database available to medical researchers and police agencies.” By the implementation of a national blood database many things can be accomplished. Providing law enforcement an easy button when it comes time to identify a culprit from biological traces at a crime scene, to making sure that little Timmy has the rare quality of blood he needs on time for his operation. If such a database existed many benefits are clearly seen, but it also must be maintained. According to the FBI, “Since 1991, CODIS computers have matched DNA profiles in the database to those from crime scenes in more than 27,000 cases.” The DNA database as it is currently is obviously effective for aiding in the capture of criminals in a variety of situations, but is it right? According to Willing, the new database currently being proposed would expand to include “suspected illegal immigrants, captives in the war on terrorism and others who have been arrested but not convicted of federal crimes” Unreasonable search and seizure is one of the main oppositional stand points to DNA databases being kept. Taking blood from an individual violates their privacy and invokes the Fourth Amendment. However, according to Walsh; “Conflicting conclusions have arisen in the interpretation of 'bodily intrusion'. Consequently, there are instances where the taking of a
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Martin 2 mouth swab is said to require a warrant, and conversely, a warrant has been held unnecessary, on the grounds that talking and yawning exposes the interior of an individual's mouth to the public. Walsh, Rosemary What exactly counts as invading privacy is always changing. Who knows, perhaps one day seeing a vein in someone’s arm will be enough to require a sample, for it was “visible to the public”. The privacy issue is just as hard to capture. Where does it cross the line to collect DNA from arrested individuals, especially when they may act again in he future? Individuals who break the law once are likely to repeat, and it may be a more severe offence the second time. However those who do not or were wrongly arrested are having their DNA held for no reason. For them, according to law enforcement officials, “DNA extraction upon arrest is no different than fingerprinting at routine bookings and that states purge profiles after people are cleared of suspicion.” (Moore) Despite the possible negative loss of privacy, closure can be found though finding and correctly identifying criminals through the use of a DNA database, as with the case of Omar Best. 11 years after the fact, when he was arrested for a separate crime the DNA in the database showed a match and the cold case was re-investigated. IT was found that he had been the missing suspect in a rape case, and was promptly charged. (Graham)
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debate response2 complete - Martin 1 Martin Pauler...

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