Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The DNA Connection: The Database Dilemma

The past several months have been full of contrasts and contradictions. We have seen fascinating cases solved illustrating the incredible effectiveness of forensic DNA technology.We have seen legal cases filed illustrating the fear of DNA’s expanded use. Governments have announced intentions for national expansion and for the first time a government has announced it will reduce the scope of inclusion in its database.And, after years of legislative discussion and debate, we have seen some countries finally pass DNA legislation and begin to recognize its benefits while others continue to struggle with practical and political issues preventing the implementation of law enforcement’s most effective crime fighting tool.

On August 10, 1990, Jennifer Schuett, age 8, was abducted from her bedroom, driven to a remote location, sexually assaulted, and her throat was slit from ear to ear. She was left for dead. She could not scream. Her voice box was severed. Over 12 hours later, she was discovered by children playing in a nearby field. Never giving up, the police of the Dickinson Police Department sought the help of the FBI and evidence was sent for advanced DNA testing. The extracted DNA profile matched a Dennis Bradford. On October 7, 2009, Dickinson police issued a warrant for his arrest.

Read more at Forensic Magazine

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