Front cover image for DNA and the criminal justice system : the technology of justice

DNA and the criminal justice system : the technology of justice

Annotation Is DNA technology the ultimate diviner of guilt or the ultimate threat to civilliberties? Over the past decade, DNA has been used to exonerate hundreds and to convict thousands. Its expanded use over the coming decade promises to recalibrate significantly the balance betweencollective security and individual freedom. For example, it is possible that law enforcement DNAdatabases will expand to include millions of individuals not convicted of any crime. Moreover, depending on what rules govern access, such databases could also be used for purposes that rangefrom determining paternity to assessing predispositions to certain diseases or behaviors. Thus theuse of DNA technology will involve tough trade-offs between individual and societal interests. Thisbook, written by a distinguished group of authors including U.S. Supreme Court Justice StephenBreyer, explores the ethical, procedural, and economic challenges posed by the use of DNA evidenceas well as future directions for the technology. After laying the conceptual historical, legal, andscientific groundwork for the debate, the book considers bioethical issues raised by the collectionof DNA, including the question of control over DNA databases. The authors then turn to the possiblegenetic bases of human behavior and the implications of this still-unresolved issue for the criminaljustice system. Finally, the book examines the current debate over the many roles that DNA can andshould play in criminal justice
eBook, English, ©2004
MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., ©2004