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BS: DNA Why shield criminals?

Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 05:02 PM
Peace 15 Jun 07 - 05:08 PM
folk1e 15 Jun 07 - 05:15 PM
KB in Iowa 15 Jun 07 - 05:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jun 07 - 05:57 PM
Sorcha 15 Jun 07 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,petr 15 Jun 07 - 06:08 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 06:19 PM
skipy 15 Jun 07 - 06:22 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 06:24 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 06:26 PM
Bert 15 Jun 07 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,petr 15 Jun 07 - 06:28 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 06:32 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 06:34 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 06:35 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 06:43 PM
Sorcha 15 Jun 07 - 07:06 PM
Rapparee 15 Jun 07 - 07:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 15 Jun 07 - 07:30 PM
bobad 15 Jun 07 - 07:35 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 07:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jun 07 - 07:47 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 07:59 PM
Rapparee 15 Jun 07 - 08:02 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 08:11 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 08:24 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 08:57 PM
Peace 15 Jun 07 - 09:11 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 09:34 PM
Peace 15 Jun 07 - 09:52 PM
Rapparee 15 Jun 07 - 11:07 PM
M.Ted 15 Jun 07 - 11:29 PM
Bert 15 Jun 07 - 11:36 PM
Ythanside 15 Jun 07 - 11:55 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 12:06 AM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 12:24 AM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 12:54 AM
Bert 16 Jun 07 - 01:20 AM
George Papavgeris 16 Jun 07 - 02:23 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Jun 07 - 05:51 AM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 06:27 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Jun 07 - 06:44 AM
Rapparee 16 Jun 07 - 09:50 AM
Megan L 16 Jun 07 - 09:56 AM
Amos 16 Jun 07 - 10:45 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 16 Jun 07 - 11:07 AM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 05:24 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 05:27 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 05:35 PM
Bert 16 Jun 07 - 06:06 PM
Wolfgang 16 Jun 07 - 06:26 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 06:27 PM
Rapparee 16 Jun 07 - 06:38 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 06:50 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 06:54 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 06:54 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 07:04 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 07:04 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 07:05 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 07:06 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 07:11 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 07:14 PM
Rapparee 16 Jun 07 - 07:16 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 07:40 PM
Rapparee 16 Jun 07 - 07:45 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 08:03 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 08:31 PM
Peace 16 Jun 07 - 08:36 PM
Ythanside 16 Jun 07 - 09:13 PM
Rapparee 16 Jun 07 - 09:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jun 07 - 12:01 AM
Bert 17 Jun 07 - 01:58 AM
John MacKenzie 17 Jun 07 - 06:42 AM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jun 07 - 06:56 AM
Ythanside 17 Jun 07 - 10:30 PM
Amos 17 Jun 07 - 10:37 PM
Rapparee 17 Jun 07 - 10:50 PM
John MacKenzie 18 Jun 07 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 18 Jun 07 - 04:40 AM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Jun 07 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,petr 18 Jun 07 - 12:16 PM
Wolfgang 18 Jun 07 - 01:45 PM
Peace 18 Jun 07 - 03:29 PM
Ythanside 18 Jun 07 - 11:06 PM
M.Ted 19 Jun 07 - 01:10 PM
Peace 19 Jun 07 - 01:27 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jun 07 - 10:19 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jun 07 - 10:29 PM
Amos 20 Jun 07 - 12:20 AM
M.Ted 20 Jun 07 - 01:06 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Jun 07 - 07:54 PM

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Subject: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 05:02 PM

Am I the only person who thinks that there should be national DNA and fingerprint registers? Such databanks would ensure that many crimes could be solved quickly, and greatly limit the actions of serial rapists, killers, muggers etc. The technology exists, so why not put it to the greater good and protection of law-abiding citizens? The initial costs would be huge, I know, but surely the reduction in repeat offending would more than compensate for that.   
My fellow lefties say(shout, usually) that this would lay us wide open to 'fit-ups' by unscrupulous lawmen, but this risk has existed for centuries without apparent widespread abuse by the police, and the only winners at present are the criminals.   
Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 05:08 PM

I don't care for that much government intervention in my life. So, in a nice quiet word, "No."


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: folk1e
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 05:15 PM

If the British Constabulary have (en mass) refused to have their DNA samples stored on the database do you realy need further answers?
OK just in case you do .....
If DNA evidence for identification is required it looses most of it's legitamacy if it is taken from a pool.
Can you spot the difference between:-
   1 We arrested the defendant because of the evidence and after testing we got a positive DNA result.
   2 We looked in our database and arrested the defendant who does not have a cast iron allibi.

Me, I'll go for number one every time. Don't forget DNA is not unique!


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 05:22 PM

What Peace said.

"My fellow lefties say(shout, usually) that this would lay us wide open to 'fit-ups' by unscrupulous lawmen, but this risk has existed for centuries without apparent widespread abuse by the police"

DNA and fingerprinting technologies have not been available 'for centuries.'

'Unscrupulous lawmen' have indeed ridden roughshod over the rights of the people many times and will do so again. I don't see any reason to make it easier.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 05:57 PM

Yes it makes sense. But yy worry about this kind of thing is, how would I feel if it was a government run by Hitler/Stalin/Pinochet etc etc having this kind of extra information about everybody.

We are now living in a time when, for the first time in human history, a genuinely totalitarian government which is in a position to know everything about everybody is actually possible.

Tyrannies in the past have been called totalitarian, and they've done their damnest to keep control of everything, but they just didn't have the practical ability to really control more than a fraction of what went on. They had to depend on piecemeal stuff like informers.

That's no longer true. That means that a new totalitarianism will be able to dispense with a lot of the heavy stuff. No need to crack down on thousands or even millions to get at the dissidents, they'll be able to do it on a one-by-one targetted basis. And most people will never even know.

It's pretty frightening.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:03 PM

A fingerprint data base has existed in the US for a really long time, but I'll go with #1 also.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:08 PM

I believe the very first DNA test case was in Britain,
the police had the killers DNA and in order to find him they asked several hundred? or thousand men in the area - to submit their DNA
(this fellow actually tried to get someone to go in his place and thats what alerted the police to him)..

in a way the DNA banks already exist..

another case is where the police did not have the suspects DNA but ended using one of those DNA genealogy sites - and were able to get a fit with someone who was a distant relative (same last name) as the killer.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:19 PM

KB, the risk referred to is the risk of unscrupulous lawmen 'fitting up' innocent people. If a crooked cop wants to 'ride roughshod over the rights of the people' he doesn't require DNA as a tool, and never has. Bad cops will remain bad cops, regardless of the weapons at their disposal. Their existence, however, cannot justify opposition to innovations that would serve us better were they to be implemented sooner rather than later. Unknown numbers of unneccessary injuries and deaths will occur before this system becomes a legal requirement as, one day, it surely will.

Folkle, the whole point is that DNA & fp evidence frequently IS avilable, but there is no database, other than that of recidivists, to check it against. DNA may well be common to more than one person, but eliminating six or seven suspects to find the perp has to be a safer and quicker route than searching through several million possibles.   

Peace, government intervention isn't the issue here, only improved protection for innocent citizens. The national census, once opposed and regarded as intrusive government intervention, is now recognised as a helpful aid to local and national planning.


Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: skipy
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:22 PM

Finger print, blood group, DNA, retina scan & chip all children at birth, that would make it out of the question to kidnap a child.
Do the same to all entering the country, if they are up to no good then we can find them in no time, if they are not causing a problem then the info would never be used!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:24 PM

McGrath of Harlow; Totaltarian governments like those of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot et al required no evidence to arrest, convict, sentence and execute anyone. So the anti-DNA & fp register view does not apply.

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:26 PM

McGoH;

Totalitarian governments (as well as those damned totaltarian ones.) :-)

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Bert
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:27 PM

We share 90 something percent of our DNA with Chimps.

So watch out Chongo!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:28 PM

the first test case

actually it looks like there already is a national database, although not mandatory, samples are taken when someone is arrested


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:32 PM

GUEST,petr;
'In a way the DNA banks already exist'

Do you mean from those already convicted and sampled?
Would only catch a recidivist, not the likes of Peter Sutcliffe, who could have been snared before his second killing.

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:34 PM

Skipy, you're a breath of fresh air!

Thank you,

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:35 PM

Bert, stop monkeying about! :-)

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 06:43 PM

Sorcha, forgive my ignorance of MC shorthand (I'm so recently here I'm almost a virgin again), but could you tell me whether #1 means the thread posting or the first response?
Be gentle with me.

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 07:06 PM

Oh, sorry, the choices that were offered in a post. I am married (for 34 years) to a cop (for 23 years)

I tend to trust cops in person, but not in general. I know too much about just how human they are. Can be vindictive bastards. Just like anybody else.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 07:15 PM

No.

Such a database has been proposed (and in the case of the military implemented) in the US. It was felt that there was too great a chance that it would be used, for instance, by insurance companies to refuse to insure those who showed a genetic propensity to breast cancer or other genetically-linked disorders.

Moreover most crimes are NOT solved like on CSI, but by dint of good police work and stupid criminals. Two young men were recently convicted here of first-degree murder and intent to commit the same -- not by DNA (although some of their DNA was found on knife used in the crime) but (for one reason) because they videotaped themselves before and after discussing the crime!

The military database exists (and I believe you can opt out of it) to help identify casualties. Tripping a 155 mm artillery shell rigged as a booby-trap (oops, IED) really leaves very, very little of the tripper....

No. Not only no, but HELL no!


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 07:30 PM

In the UK fingerprints are destroyed if a suspect is not convicted, so there would have to be a significant change in legal standards if a DNA database were to be established.

However, I for one see no reason why it should not be legally compulsory to supply a DNA sample to officers engaged in a search for a criminal, providing that those samples clearing their providers of any wrongdoing, were destroyed.

Surely this would give the same, or better, results, albeit with somewhat greater effort than consulting a database.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: bobad
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 07:35 PM

"by insurance companies to refuse to insure those who showed a genetic propensity to breast cancer or other genetically-linked disorders."

The insurance industry is quite adept at testing for genetic predispositions without access to a data base. Part of the work up for personal insurance involves a medical history where applicants are asked about familial medical conditions. If anything suspicious comes up eg. certain cancers, diabetes or a myriad other conditions for which genetic markers have been identified they will test for them when procuring blood and other samples from the applicant.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for clarifying that, Sorcha, and for the positive response. My only contact with police is purely social, apart from the occasional brittle chat with a traffic cop while he writes out a parking ticket. In general cops seem, as you say, just like anybody else but doing a job that wouldn't suit most people. What is certain is that society couldn't funtion without them, at least not until we evolve/develop to a much higher level of civilisation. That will happen, I'm sure, although not this week or next.
Cheers,
Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 07:47 PM

No, the tyrants of the past didn't need evidence once they'd decided who to go for. But if they'd had this kind of information it would have been so much easier for them to identify anyone who might be any kind of problem to them.

Not just the DNA stuff on its own - put it together with the surveillance cameras and the data from identity cars and credit cards and computer search engines...

Every bit of the information network makes sense on its own, including the DNA bank - but put them together and the possibilities are frightening. There have to be ways of protecting us from that kind of power, and holding the people in authority strictly to account. And we certainly don't have those effectively in place yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 07:59 PM

Rapaire, in the case you relate you say the video evidence provided by the criminals themselves secured their own convictions, although some of their DNA was found on a knife used in the crime. Any DNA found at the soc could have sufficed, and I'm sure you don't envisage the level of stupidity displayed by those idiots becoming a common means of capturing the bad guys.

The insurance company stuff was answered by bobad.

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 08:02 PM

Absolutely, bodad. I have no desire to give insurance companies data they can't derive for themselves.

What would be next? A woman with a predisposition for breast cancer being REQUIRED to have breast removal? Hitlerian eugenics programs? US-type eugenics programs?

Moreover, there have been enough incidents here in the US of bad lab work (even by the FBI) relating to DNA that I simply don't trust any mass program. Worse, DNA evidence, like all evidence, can be planted (a cigarette butt, for instance, could yield DNA from your saliva).

If asked, yes, I would cooperate IF the sample and the records relating to it were destroyed later in my presence. But technology and science are tools which assist good police work (and other work, for that matter), not a substitute for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 08:11 PM

Don(Wyziwyg);
'surely this would give the same, or better, results)

No, because you assume that the police have their suspect in front of them, and take a DNA sample to confirm guilt or innocence. This would be productive only IF they ever happen upon the perp. By that method any perp could leave town and be free and clear which, given the numbers of unsolved crimes, must be a fairly common MO.
If the police have a DNA sample from the soc, doesn't it seem glaringly obvious that if all DNA is on record then the 'needle in a haystack' scenario is consigned to the dustbin? It does to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 08:24 PM

McGrath, the possibilities are frightening, but the reality of what is happening right now is the real horror. People WILL be raped or murdered by sociopaths at liberty at this very moment simply because the evidence left at previous attacks has not been linked to them. By all means think of imagined future misuse of your personal information by government departments, but mull it over again the next time you read that some psycho nut has been arrested following his third or fourth murder or rape. You know, I know, and everyone else knows it will happen, and will continue to happen until common sense prevails over mistrust.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 08:57 PM

Rapaire, Locard's Law states(with apologies for my own translation) that in the perpetration of a crime the perpetrator takes something of the crime away with him, and leaves something of himself at the scene.
The application of this Law has been routine in good police work for generations. It is a tool, and DNA & fp science are integral components of that very tool. To deny their comprehensive application, thereby hampering efficient investigation of serious crime simply because you distrust insurance companies and official bodies, seems unreasonable.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 09:11 PM

Police (federal, state/provincial and municipal) have manipulated data before, and not always for the good. There is a growing school of thought that "if you have nothing to hide then why not". I don't buy into that thinking. The onus of proof has to remain with the prosecutors, not the defense. Someone says to me, "You shouldn't be offended that governmnet wants to know what you're doing 24/7 because if you have noting to hide then you have nothing to worry about." I reply, "Same back atcha. You won't mind your next crap (bowel movement) being filmed in case there is any future doubt as to where you were at 7:36 AM, June 15, 2007." Sorry. Yesterday, today, tomorrow: I don't trust government all that much. And in fact they have given us very little reason to trust them. IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 09:34 PM

Hi there, Peace. I respect your opinions and understand exactly what you've been saying. (Don't tell anyone, but I have been known to play devil's advocate at times, just to kick up a little dust.)
Cheers,
Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 09:52 PM

Ythanside: I too see what YOU are asying. And I agree it would be a great idea. But . . . .

I like your posts, btw, and if I say anything to offend you, it isn't intentional. There are a few folks I go out of my way to offend. You aren't one of them. Best to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 11:07 PM

If a cop finds a cigarette butt or other source of DNA at a scene he'll have it checked. But...usually there are many sources of DNA at a crime scene: the criminal's and the victim's of course, but possibly members of the victim's family, neighbors, friends, even repair people or salesfolk.

Rapists have started to wear condoms so they take their ejaculate with them. Others have also shaved their pubic hair so that isn't left. Yes, the criminal does always leave traces of himself at the scene, but they can be DAMNED hard for the cops to find, and a plant can and has send innocent people to prison, even to death row.

The so-called "Duke Rape Case" prosecutor faces disbarment and prison for his actions, one of which was to fail to provide DNA evidence to the defense. Evidence which could have cleared the accused or at least established reasonable doubt. In the meantime the lives of three young men are tainted and because of overweaning ambition a prosecutor faces the loss of his profession and jail, possibly with men he'd help send up.

The Houston PD lab is still not permitted to do DNA analysis because the courts and the State of Texas aren't sure of the work done there after the scandal. The FBI lab, fer crissakes!, has been implicated and convicted of shoddy DNA work.

My answer is still no.

(By the way, since I was in the Army my fingerprints ARE on file with the FBI.)


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: M.Ted
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 11:29 PM

I lived in Philadephia, known far and wide for it's police brutality and evidence planting. I remember when 50 people were released from prison when it was discovered that the police had planted drug evidence--and all were from just one police precinct. DNA evidence is easier to plant than drugs--

Here is an article that illuminates the concerns about DNA evidence-Differential Trust in DNA Forensics


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Bert
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 11:36 PM

Don't blame it all on the police. The courts are also quite capable of wrongly incarcerating people.

There was a case a couple of years ago in Pennsylvania where over 140 inmates had to be released because they were unlawfully sent to jail.

The more information these people have the more possibilities there are for abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 15 Jun 07 - 11:55 PM

Rapaire, all forensic findings are compared with that of people known to have been at the scene. This is normal, and the system would remain unchanged should a DNA & fp database be established.

Criminals have been 'wising up' since Dickens introduced the word 'detective', so what's new?

Planted evidence has been with us a long time, too, so again, what's new?

Corrupt prosecutors ditto, ditto.

Innocent men jailed? So what's new.

Texan professionals not professional enough? Bring them up to scratch or revamp the outfit.

Rapaire, if this were a game of chess I'd expect you to concede defeat at this point.

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 12:06 AM

M.Ted, any evidence can be planted, and DNA is neither easier nor more difficult to plant than most other types.
Your point seems more to do with corrupt policing than DNA & fp databases.
Neither of these issues affect what is under discussion here.
My point is that more crimes would be solved quicker and less opportunities would exist for serial offenders to remain free, as a direct result of DNA & fp databases.

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 12:24 AM

Bert, corruption rules, always has done, always will do. There is NO magic wand to make it all go away, but this isn't the issue here.
What we're talking about is a method of curtailling the activities of serial killers before they become serial killers, to shorten the time any criminal is on the loose. We have the technology to protect innocent people from being raped and/or murdered. If you can tell me why it should not be commissioned, I'm all ears.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 12:54 AM

This is a 'register guns' argument. I own a gun. I do not intend to do anything illegal with it. Therefore, the State has no need for me to register it because it will not be used for anything bad by me. And, people who intend to do bad things with guns won't register them either (for obvious reasons). SO, why register guns? Or more specifically, why should I register MY gun?


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 01:20 AM

corruption rules, always has done, always will do... So don't give them any more ammunition.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 02:23 AM

I am comfortable with the idea, despite being a "lefty" or "not-righty" (I find these labels out of touch with today's realities anyway). But that could be because I grew up with it. In Greece we have had a national fingerprint database since before I was born, and I still remember going proudly to the police station to be fingerprinted and have my first national ID card made as soon as I turned 14.

And we did have a totalitarian government for 7 years (67-74, the junta years), which hunted "lefties" and persecuted anyone that disagreed with them. But the fingerprints database and the National ID cards played no role in that; they were not required for the purpose.

Neither is fingerprint or DNA evidence sufficient by itself to convict anyone; it places them at a crime scene, sure, but does not pinpoint the time of that presence. In a notorious serial killer hunt in that same period of the junta, which led to the wrongful conviction and eventual execution of a local (but innocent) pervert, there was no fingerprint evidence used - indeed, if there were any, it would have served to avoid that travesty of justice.

Sure, I am up for it. I have nothing to hide, and those that would abuse me have bigger weapons at their disposal anyway, like bribery, corruption, amorality, withholding of evidence and so on.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 05:51 AM

NO NO NO NO!

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:27 AM

Peace, some people have guns, but ALL of us have DNA. In the US it must be frustrating to find, in the course of a criminal investigation, a spent bullet from an unregistered gun. Registering the gun allows its owner to be traced quickly should that be neccessary. You get the point.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:44 AM

Perhaps we should also need a licence to carry concealed DNA, or keep it in a locked cabinet in a manner approved by the police, and liable to a snap inspection at any point. Perhaps when two people's DNA is too similar or identical, one of them should be eliminated, just to make sure the police don't arrest the wrong person.
Should we also carry round our own personal cutlery and crockery etc. so that nobody else can steal our DNA from the rim of our cup or glass. We should demand a confidentiality agreement from our partner, so that they can't save samples of our semen or other bodily fluids and leave them at the scene of a crime that they commit.
Perhaps a black market in stolen DNA will spring up, imagine a Bodily Secretions Mafia.
Perhaps we ought to just get real, and stop trying to codify classify and control the populace in a manner reminiscent of a totalitarian nightmare.
The ghost of George Orwell must be cackling like a maniac.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 09:50 AM

Here is a question I'd like answered, and I'm dead serious. But first, some facts from US Department of Justice:

In 2005, over 7 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at yearend 2005 -- 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 32 adults.

and also, from the same source:

Two studies come closest to providing "national" recidivism rates for the United States. One tracked 108,580 State prisoners released from prison in 11 States in 1983. The other tracked 272,111 prisoners released from prison in 15 States in 1994. The prisoners tracked in these studies represent two-thirds of all the prisoners released in the United States for that year.

Rearrest within 3 years

    * 67.5% of prisoners released in 1994 were rearrested within 3 years, an increase over the 62.5% found for those released in 1983

    * The rearrest rate for property offenders, drug offenders, and public-order offenders increased significantly from 1983 to 1994. During that time, the rearrest rate increased:

          - from 68.1% to 73.8% for property offenders
          - from 50.4% to 66.7% for drug offenders
          - from 54.6% to 62.2% for public-order offenders

    * The rearrest rate for violent offenders remained relatively stable (59.6% in 1983 compared to 61.7% in 1994).

Reconviction within 3 years

    * Overall, reconviction rates did not change significantly from 1983 to 1994. Among, prisoners released in 1983, 46.8% were reconvicted within 3 years compared to 46.9% among those released in 1994. From 1983 to 1994, reconviction rates remained stable for released:

          - violent offenders (41.9% and 39.9%, respectively)
          - property offenders (53.0% and 53.4%)
          - public-order offenders (41.5% and 42.0%)

    * Among drug offenders, the rate of reconviction increased significantly, going from 35.3% in 1983 to 47.0% in 1994.

Returned to prison within 3 years

    * The 1994 recidivism study estimated that within 3 years, 51.8% of prisoners released during the year were back in prison either because of a new crime for which they received another prison sentence, or because of a technical violation of their parole. This rate was not calculated in the 1983 study.


We can say with some confidence that 3.2% of the US adult population are criminals. Sure, it might be more or less, but the figure won't vary much either way. And of course this figure includes recidivists, who make up approximately 52% of those in prison.

Why then should 96.8% of the population "suffer" because 3.2% break the law -- and of that group of lawbreakers more than half are repeaters?

Hey! Why not create a database of the DNA of the lawbreakers, just as has been done with fingerprints!

Oh, wait. The US is already doing that. So is Australia, Canada, the UK, and Interpol.

Never mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Megan L
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 09:56 AM

I take it you are slightly agin the idea then Giok.

Ach tae pot wie DNA aw thats needed is tae gie every male a skelp till he owns up efter aw they are bound tae be guilty o summit :p

*Ducks and heads for the door.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 10:45 AM

This is not a bright idea. You don't build a strong society by making a machine out of it for controlling individuals. This is the path of fascism and mass slavery.

The argument that the individual right to privacy should be suspended because of crime is an upside down argument. Undermining the best aspects of a free society -- curtaililng free speech, eroding privacy, and enforcing testimony -- are all well-intended by misconceived reactions to the horror of crime, which over time add up to a crime in themselves.

But turning the whole fabric of society over to the police is the absolutely wrong approach. "We must curtail our freedoms because we are afraid" is the death knell of decent civilization, IMHO.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 11:07 AM

There are 300,000,000 people in the US and the odds are great that someone has DNA or fingerprints so similar to mine that nobody can tell them apart.

There are plenty of people, many of them in the employ of the government, who feel that it's acceptable to imprison a fair number of innocent people to insure that the maximum number of guilty people receive punishment. I feel the opposite, that it's preferable to let a few guilty people go free to minimize the chances of innocents being punished. I'm not willing to submit my biological data to some database that increases the chances I may become some prosecutor's "collateral damage".


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 05:24 PM

Rapaire, while you seem to think that that 3.2% who are known to be criminals remain the same compact group of individuals from one day, month or year to the next, I believe this to me a misinterpretation of the facts. Lawbreakers come and go. Some return again and again, as you have illustrated, while others never offend thereafter. Let me make a few observations of my own here.

The 3.2% figure pertains to only those, both first-timers and recidivists, that were caught and convicted.
A substantial number of crimes go unsolved.   
As a consequence of this some first-timers MAY go on to re-offend, and serial offenders WILL continue to operate, and there ARE serial offenders walking the streets who WILL rob, rape and/or kill again.   
As a DNA & fp database would help curtail the activities of serial offenders AND prevent a first-timer BECOMING a serial rapist/killer/thief I cannot see why such a setup should not be commissioned.
No-one can seriously object to ANY system that would limit the numbers of victims preyed upon by sociopaths and shorten the time currently taken to arrest criminals.
Private fears and anxieties over personal information just don't cut it as an excuse to allow lawbreakers to operate unchecked.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 05:27 PM

Bert, corruption exists and always has done. Becoming paranoid about it doesn't make you safer, it merely allows criminals to go unchecked.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 05:35 PM

"Private fears and anxieties over personal information just don't cut it as an excuse to allow lawbreakers to operate unchecked."

Further that argument and you end up saying that all people should be in jail because SOME people should be in jail.

As it is, lawbreakers do NOT operate unchecked (except those we elect). The discussion centers around the right of the state to collect information about each person simply because that information may be useful someday in the future. I say that the state has no such right. And to add, if the f#ckers want a blood sample based on that as logic for having a sample of my blood, they'd better send a half dozen big guys, because they won't get it from me voluntarily.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Bert
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:06 PM

Ye Gods Ythanside, we can't even trust our government to issue building permits without corruption and bribery. OR run an election fairly for that matter.

If you want to give them your DNA, go for it; but I don't trust them with mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:26 PM

It was felt that there was too great a chance that it would be used, for instance, by insurance companies to refuse to insure those who showed a genetic propensity to breast cancer or other genetically-linked disorders.

That's not a valid argument now (it once was I think), for it is possible to store only the information of those parts of the DNA that can identify the person but tell nothing at all about personal risks of any kind. So if you are against it, think of something else for an argument.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:27 PM

I ain't that complicated. They have no right to that information. So, they ain't gonna get it!


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:38 PM

Since I haven't done anything wrong, why should the government be afraid that I will?

No. To paraphrase, if they want my DNA for a general database they'll get it from my cold, dead body.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:50 PM

Rapaire, that sounds like 'if they want to take away my gun they'll have to prise it from my cold dead fingers', doesn't it?
Nothing you've said thus far makes a reasonable case for failing to implement a system that would make society safer for everyone but crooks.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:54 PM

How would it be made safer for everyone but the crooks?


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 06:54 PM

Peace, we all have the right to feel safe in our homes. All of life is a compromise, as you know. This one further small step for mankind(you watchin', Rapaire?) is a giant leap towards a more crime-free existance.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:04 PM

Glad you're there, Wolfgang, but I think we're surrounded by Luddites, cynics and sophists. I'm just going outside, now. I may be some time. Hold the fort while I'm gone.
Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:04 PM

True. But a government having access to my DNA isn't going to make you safer in your home, or me safer in mine for that matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:05 PM

And just what was wrong with Nedd Ludd? HUH?


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:06 PM

Sorry, Peace, I meant 'safer for everyone but some crooks'.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:11 PM

Peace, Ludd tried to halt progress, a hopeless aspiration pretty much in line with the general tone of responses here. He, like yourself, Rapaire and the others, had damned good reasons for his stance. Didn't make him right, though, did it?


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:14 PM

Aye, and there's the rub. Governments having access to the DNA of innocent people does nothing to further progress. From this paranoid guy--and yes, even paranoids have enemies--it would be a step backwards. I live in Canada. A free country, and we're happy to have it. I do NOT trust government. Not at all. The standing joke: "Hi. I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:16 PM

Yup. Sure does.

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:40 PM

Bert,please read the reply to your earlier posting.

Rapaire, quotations, stonewalling and paraphrasing do not a reasonable case make, it just sounds like you have no credible argument.

Peace, Ludd was a good guy, but he was wrong. I admire his sentiments and sympathised with his struggle, but he was misguided.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 07:45 PM

The fact that I might not agree with you, or you with me, does not invalidate either's agrument.

Like Peace, I do not trust government.

Section 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man has a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers....

Section 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.


The Constitution was intended to prevent the US government from doing things. Other countries may have, and do have, other views. Here, unlike in France, someone is innocent until proven guilty. My county just spent nearly a quarter of a million US dollars to prove two people guilty of murder, even though the criminals had videotaped themselves talking about committing the crime and discussing the crime afterwards. The jury was brought from another part of the State and everything was done to insure fairness and justice.

To my mind it was money well spent. (And no, the prosecution did not ask for the death penalty, although they could have done so.)


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 08:03 PM

Rapaire, I didn't mean that your case was invalid, merely that you have not supported it as comprehensively as I had expected.

DNA exists and is used in legal cases. All I'm suggesting is that it be exploited fully rather than piecemeal. It must, inevitably, become part of the standard criminal investigation toolkit, and civilisation as we know it will NOT crumble when this is implemented. I believe that if this is commissioned sooner rather than later then many lives will be saved as a result and much suffering will be prevented.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 08:31 PM

No one thinks your heart is in the wrong place.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 08:36 PM

Year back I went into a store, purchased some stuff--can't remember what--with a credit card. Then duly signed it. And they called to see if it was OK. The clerk then asked me to write my phone number. I refused. Clerk said, "But it's store policy." I replied, "But it's MY policy not to give my number to anyone, and that includes your store." Poor bugger. Instead, I wrote 555,1234. Whta bullshit it all was. Anyway, I don't provide answers for people to satisfy their idle curiousity. Nor will I provide DNA to satisfy a government's curiousity. Period.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 09:13 PM

Thanks, Peace.
I suspect that this thread has about run its course, having reached a state of entrenchment with neither side willing to give ground or concede a point. It's a no-win debate, of course, as is any proposition concerning personal freedom, but it does encourage some soul-searching among the undecided. Had hoped to hear more from those but they're probably still thinking it over. It's been hugely enjoyable, nevertheless, and the pros and antis fell almost exactly as expected, antis generally holding stronger views and being more willing to put them forward.
So it's thanks again to you guys, and look forward to further light-hearted skirmishing at a later date.
Have fun, be happy,
Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Jun 07 - 09:42 PM

One more point: when I bring in scientific evidence to convict you, then you bring in evidence just as scientific to prove mine is bull. I bring in experts, you bring in experts. Pretty soon it's a pissing match between expert witnesses (e.g., the OJ trial). This has gone on in the US and the UK for years -- and it should. It was, after all, this sort of thing that led to the discoveries of bad technique and bad science in Houston and elsewhere.

It is not limited to DNA testing, either. You'll find that ballistics specialists, forensic odontologist, forensic entomologists, chemists, and even fingerprint experts have had their conclusions examined and challenged.

I think that right now we're doing just about enough. If the situation changes I'll rethink my position -- I've changed my mind before.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 12:01 AM

"There are 300,000,000 people in the US and the odds are great that someone has DNA or fingerprints so similar to mine that nobody can tell them apart. "

The highly complex methods for fingerprint and DNA 'matching' are 'statistically based' - by looking at only part of the whole for a certain number of 'matches' - not by checking the wholes against each other - there have been many such documented cases of both being 'wrong' - even a case where a Policewoman allegedly had her prints found at the scene of a crime where she had never ever been!


"any evidence can be planted, and DNA is neither easier nor more difficult to plant than most other types"

Interestingly some case on review, have been found to have very amateurish faking of fingerprinting 'evidence' such as prints being lifted from surfaces and placed on other surfaces with a different surface grain - not only is it necessary to 'match the prints', but also to check that the prints have been placed on that surface 'properly'.



"No, the tyrants of the past didn't need evidence once they'd decided who to go for. But if they'd had this kind of information it would have been so much easier for them to identify anyone who might be any kind of problem to them."

There is a true story of a young Jewish boy being adopted by and living with the SS. He would have been easily caught out with this idea.


There was a recent murder case in Bundaberg - where I used to live - a female was found underneath a bridge.

The Police managed to convince several thousand 'volunteers' to give DNA samples. He was not caught that way - but just by normal 'good policing ' techniques. It was either a big waste of public resources or the paranoid would say a plot to create a 'database' - I never heard that all the volunteers had their sample and data destroyed!

I've just been inducted into a Govt programme 'to help disabled pensioners find jobs' - in Australalia there is now no distinction between part time and 40 hour a week jobs! The contracted private company in the letter advising me of my interview wanted to know (among other things) 2 specific things -

1) My Tax File Number
2) Photo Identification

1) Unless they are paying me - they have no legal need to know this!

2) The only photo id I have is my drivers licence - and they have no legal power to record that number!

AS it turned out, when I turned up for the interview, I was not asked to supply either... still don't understand why they need to prove that the person they are going to 'help' could be anyone else but me... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Bert
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 01:58 AM

It is not being paranoid to observe that corruption exists in a local Building inspector's office.

It cost me a lot of money because I wouldn't hire the guy's relative to do the electrical work. Facts are not paranoia.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 06:42 AM

And in conclusion, while it may increase the conviction rates, it sure won't reduce the crime rate. It will however increase the prison population by a chunk.
However crime is committed mainly because of need greed, or lack of heed, and is not amenable to reason. There will always be people who think they won't get caught, whether they are right or wrong in that assumption, it doesn't stop them committing the crime, and it never will.
Of course one of the fastest growing offences nowadays is cyber crime, where they going to take DNA samples from at an IP address?
Giok.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 06:56 AM

A young Aussie father has been arrested after he turned himself in tonight - he drove a car into a tree - both his children died and wife injured. he ran away, twice, once from the scene, and the next day did not turn up at an agreed time at the police station.

The car contained alcohol and cannabis. He was allegedly drunk at the time, cannabis use unconfirmed at this time.

A crime, several in fact - no need for any DNA.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 10:30 PM

Rapaire, yeah, for every expert there is an equal and opposite expert. So? What, precisely, has that got to do with any point under discussion here?

Foolestroupe, by some coincidence you refer to two cases I happen to know a little about. The voluntary DNA sample donors in the Bundy backpacker murder case would hardly be likely to include the perp, now would it? As a means of eliminating suspects that method was haphazard, slow and expensive. With a database, however.. (Oh, look, you're supporting MY case, here!) DNA technology, like most sciences, is improving daily. If you're waiting for perfection to be achieved in this field or any other you'll outlive Methuselah. However, 'normal policing' techniques would surely be enhanced by the database proposal.
The case of the Scots policewoman was settled financially out of court, most probably(according to the grapevine) to hush up the the alarming level of stupidity prevalent among senior police officers. The Peter Principle seems to be the real cuplprit there, and as soon as the police locate Peter I'm sure he will be arrested and charged. :-) The fingerprint lab used in that case was/is regarded as alarmingly ill-run, (allegedly).
The third case, that of the father resposible for the death of his children, is too unspeakably tragic to comment upon.      

Giok, so it will increase the conviction rate and the prison population while failing to reduce the crime rate? Would you like to take another shot at that, perhaps phrase it so that it makes sense? And the DNA/internet fraud comment? You're struggling, now. What's up, no genuine argument to support your case?

Bert, you obviously feel aggrieved over a matter you perceive to have involved corruption. See a lawyer, tell him everything, and listen to his advice. If you don't like what he tells you get a second opinion. Once the situation is resolved you'll feel better, honest. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 10:37 PM

The name of this thread is a real give-away to the lack of understanding inherent in the position. An alternative would be "DNA -- why not shield the individual citizen? "   What you are missing is that when a government seeks to manage its whole populace as though they were criminals before the fact they violate the strongest resource they have, as well as the trust of their people. The risk of NOT catching a criminal is much, much less dangerous than the risk of destroying the spirit of a civilization and its highest standards of civic recognition of the individual as the source of all power.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Jun 07 - 10:50 PM

Dealing, as I am, with trying to maintain a house, fight for a library budget that will permit us to actually serve the public, open up a new closet at work, go to work for 3 hours on one of my days off to help up up shelves in the garage, work out storage shelving in the room next to my office for Tech Services, write up a Records Retention Policy, try to start and maintain an archives, and all the while try to maintain my own sanity -- well, I haven't had time to offer you the research I would like.

I'm opposed to it for what seem to me to be good and sufficient reasons, and Amos and Peace have stated them quite well. But I also would like to know how this will prevent identity theft, computer crime, cyber-piracy, embezzelment, and other such crimes. For that matter, it's highly unlikely you'll retrieve usable DNA evidence from a bullet removed from a corpse, especially if it has traveled some distance before hitting the target (granted, a match of bullet to gun can be made in other ways).


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 03:53 AM

No initiative undertaken by any government in many years of trying different initiatives, has yet reduced the crime rate which continues to rise inexorably.
Therefore on an historical basis at the very least my statement is validated.
It also remains the fact that cyber crime is the fastest rising crime sector at the moment, and solving that will not involve the use of DNA. I'm sorry if my arguments don't fit your prejudices Ythanside.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 04:40 AM

Unfortunately governments have always used fear of crime to strengthen their own powers. When governments tell us that, "We need a DNA database to help us catch criminals" what they're also saying is, "It will come in very handy for catching dissidents as well" and some may be adding, "Criminals, what criminals? Don't you worry your pretty little heads about them - we've got their DNA on file".


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 10:16 AM

"by some coincidence you refer to two cases I happen to know a little about. The voluntary DNA sample donors in the Bundy backpacker murder case would hardly be likely to include the perp, now would it? As a means of eliminating suspects that method was haphazard, slow and expensive. "

Funny, that's what a lot of average Aussies said at the time... :-)

You are in fact only supporting the case against your thesis.


"The case of the Scots policewoman "

Yeah, well hushing it up only convinces the paranoid like me that Authority is NOT to be trusted... with ANYTHING - in Aust at the moment is the 2nd woman to be sentenced to death (for decades) in the USA - a fascinating case of Police, Juridical and other corruption that had her jailed for 17 years, her children stolen from her by authorities, and her boyfriend sentenced to and executed wrongfully for the murder of 2 policemen by the guy who later on was boasting about it to other prisoners - but all the attempts to bring this up were also destroyed by the same corrupt officials - one of who used his 'success' in the case to run for higher public office...

DNA evidence would have been of no use - as all the forensic evidence was corrupted by the 'public officials' in the case anyway...



Today in the centre of Melbourne, a guy pulled out a handgun and killed one, and seriously injured two others in front of hundreds of people. He discarded the gun, and jacket after he walked away - both were found quickly.

There are strict controls of the legal possession of handguns in Oz - of course his was not legally acquired.

The Police know exactly who the guy is - he is allegedly the member of a bike gang who was himself shot some months ago at a boxing match.

An expensive DNA database is also of no assistance in a crime like this. And it would have had no 'preventative' effect either.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 12:16 PM

when I said there already is an existing database..
I meant that police have been known to use one of those genetic ancestry database.(where people voluntarily submit dna samples in order to ascertain whether they might have distant relatives in the database ie. with the same or close surname) -

The police submitted a suspects dna to the ancestry database and got a surname.. by the surname they were able to narrow the list of suspects..
(the case was only in the last couple of years and I know there was a fuss raised over how they got it) But ultimately someone was caught and convicted.

Im not sure about the UK dna database, but from what ive read of it
I dont think that the dna is destroyed afterwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 01:45 PM

I have not made up my mind, but I find the arguments against an identifying DNA database incredibly weak.

(1) Evidence can be planted. Yes it can, but so can other evidence. Each case will have to be considered by its own strength.
(2) It only increases the prison population. Firstly, I do agree with an increase of prison population if that means more correct convictions. Secondly, it's simply wrong. A conviction is the best predictor for further crime committing in many crimes. If the probability increases that the first crime leads to a conviction serial perpetrators can commit less crimes. Serial murder and serial rape cases will be solved much easier and earlier.
(3) Can be abused for health risk identification. Simply wrong.
(4) Examples of cases that have been solved without DNA. I grant you that there are many more of these, but I could list you a lot of cases that have been solved by (mass) DNA tests. Single cases make bad general arguments.
(5) There are lab errors. Yes, like with all other types of evidence. DNA analysis is easy to repeat if there is demand or doubt.
(6) There are crimes that cannot be solved with DNA (cyber crimes for instance). Yes, these crimes also cannot be solved by voice analysis or fingerprints. So what? Does that argument mean that only a method should be allowed that can be used in all types of crimes? Than we can shred all methods at once.
(7) The criminals will try to avoid leaving DNA (condoms etc.) It is easy for instance to avoid leaving fingerprints, but it is extremely difficult to avoid leaving any DNA.

You may be right with your opinion (I'm undecided), but your arguments are not yet convincing to me.

BTW, in a recent German murder case, DNA points to a serial killer being female, against all odds. Would the police in your countries be allowed to publish this information? Would the police be allowed to publish information about the racial background of a person having left DNA at the scene of a crime (lets say in a rape and murder case)?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 03:29 PM

Weak argument or not, until such time as the Canadian Supreme Court rules that the damned government has a right to demand and take DNA samples from me, the answer is NO, NO, a thousand times NO! And with no offense meant to anyone, I don't give a rat's ass who doesn't like it.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Ythanside
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:06 PM

Amos, you're so right.

Rapaire; You're busy, okay. No problem, we'll pick this up another time. Cheers.

Giok, your use of the word 'prejudices' is unworthy of you and disappointing to me.      

Shimrod, they always have and they always will, but criminals still have to be caught so why not use the best technology available?

Foolestroupe, DNA science is not and never will be a panacea. It is not a magic wand. Handpicking a few cases from the growing mountain of crime proves nothing. Forget scoring points, forget your distrust of authority for a moment and think about what this system could accomplish. If you have an open mind just look carefully over the next month or so at the serious crimes reported in your newspaper, and ask yourself how many of these could have been so easily prevented by use of a DNA & fp database.

petr, ask yourself why are the police forced to resort to using a scrappy DNA reference base when they could and should be armed with a comprehensive version.

Wolfgang, thanks for the backup, it's been sorely needed.

Peace, I guess that's a no, then? :-) Rats' asses aside, and great fun though this debate has undoubtedly been it's way past its sell-by date. Time to put it to bed, I think. Nothing left to do but saddle up an' mosey on down the trail. I'm outa here. Adios amigo,
Ythanside


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: M.Ted
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 01:10 PM

Setting aside the very real possibilities for rampant abuse, the DNA database might be a useful tool in identifying certain criminals, but it is not likely to decrease the occurance of crime, and not likely to make a material change in the rate of arrests or convictions.

The reason is simple: with or without DNA evidence, real, live witnesses are necessary to obtain criminal convictions.

In Washington DC, which is both our political capital and our murder capital, there is a backlog of nearly 5000 "unsolved" murder cases. Police claim that, in 90% of the cases, they know the identity of the perpetrator, but are unable to persuade witnesses to cooperate. Furthermore, because there are so many murders, police don't have the resources to perform comprehensive crime scene investigations, let alone the extensive follow up that homicide investigations require.

For that reason, if a perpetrator has not been found within 24-48 hours, it is unlikely that one will ever be found.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Peace
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 01:27 PM

I'm mosel along with you, Ythanside. Fun while it lasted. And you're a good guy. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 10:19 PM

"If you have an open mind just look carefully over the next month or so at the serious crimes reported in your newspaper, and ask yourself how many of these could have been so easily prevented by use of a DNA & fp database. "

I have been for many years now - and my opinion severely differs from yours.

I addition to examples already given, Tasmanians will remember the case of a guy running among shooting people - no way could DNA have prevented that - no need for DNA - he was witnessed by many survivors, and caught rapidly holed up on site.

The problem with taking 'DNA samples' from the site of a crime that that you may get the DNA from more than one person, most of who will have a non-criminal reason for their DNA being detected. You still need to do lots of 'real police work' to sort out these 'suspects', and if the real criminal left no traces - the more the general population becomes aware of the technique, the less effective it becomes (as with fingerprints) in 'hard cases with serious premeditated intent' as more anti-DNA detection measures are employed - then those whose traces are found are even MORE likely to be wrongly treated.

What happened to the principle 'better that 10 guilty should go free than one innocent wrongly sentenced'?

I have seen people's lives destroyed, merely because they were 'suspects' in cases where the use of DNA would not have even been possible.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 10:29 PM

Well it sent it anyway - even though not finished...

Similar puerile nonsense is currently being spouted in Australia - just because a few bikies are rogues, popping off illegal handguns and shooting people, now some simple minded idiot politician wants to 'ban all bikie clubs' - including all clubs of people who just rides bikes - including "Dykes on Bikes" and all the 'Vietnam Vets' bike clubs, etc. Many of these people are Professionals - lawyers, doctors, etc, who ride the big iron for fun and relaxation, and participate in Public Charity rides etc.

Banning the clubs of people who get together to ride the big iron will do just what, precisely? It will not inhibit criminal activities at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 12:20 AM

It is NOT an issue of whether or not a national DNA database of all persons would help fight crime. I do not doubt that it would. The problem is, as anyone who has been around the block a few times knows from hard experience, that such fine intentions (especially when espoused by governmental entities) contain the seeds of bitter, unintended consequences. The proposal widens the powers of governments to abuse citizens outside the due process of law. Any policy which increases the power of a government to do that is anathema and should be shunned in the interests of humanity.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 01:06 PM

There are people out there who advocate the use of DNA data to identify the "real Americans" are, based on the idea that America rightfully belongs to the "Pure" Anglo-Saxons--And yes, their idea is illogical and absurd, but that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: DNA Why shield criminals?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Jun 07 - 07:54 PM

And M Ted, once they get their hands on the database, they WILL misuse it - after all "God told them to!" - Germany in the 1930s was survivable, but things would have been speeded up considerably with such an 'advance' ...


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