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Racism in DNA Profiling

9/3/2009 4:21:03 PM

Tags: Science and Technology, Politics, DNA, criminal justice, GeneWatch

Prison FenceAs of January 1 of 2009, the state of California has the right to take a DNA sample from everyone arrested in the state, analyze it, and stick the profile in a criminal database. This applies whether or not the person is ever convicted or even charged with a crime. According to Michael Risher in GeneWatch, the new law allows “a single law enforcement officer the power to place people under lifetime genetic surveillance. “

The new law could also magnify racial disparities in the criminal justice system. “Given the ubiquity of racial profiling” in this country, Risher writes, “people of color will largely populate the databanks.” This places people of color under increased scrutiny from the law for the rest of their lives. He writes, “a racially skewed databank will produce racially skewed results.”

Source: GeneWatch 

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