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How have modern genetics had an effect on the legal system?

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Introduction

How Has Modern Genetics Had An Effect On The Legal System? One World Essay Miss Tejal Vora 6/9/2010 This essay is on the affects of technological developments in modern genetics on the legal system in the UK. This essay will focus on the economical, ethical and social implications of modern genetics being used to collaboration with the legal system. In the last few decades technology has developed to a level beyond our expectations and is continuing to develop rapidly as we uncover and find new ways to use technological advancements to assist with many things, of which the legal system is one of the most important. The Legal system enforced in the United Kingdom is one of the strongest and most organised in the entire world. We are looked upon as a judiciary example. [1] Decades ago, trial was simple. You were guilty until proven innocent. Innocence was complicated as there was not much one could do to prove to an entire courtroom that he was innocent, therefore many were falsely accused and imprisoned. These days, the process of court is more complicated; to be specific the evidence is more reliable as forensic identification is now being used across the globe. ...read more.

Middle

[9] This system has often been discredited and insulted due to the possibility of genetic information being shared. Technically, because everyone one has a different DNA typing it is easy to say that everyone is unique, in keeping with this, it is similar to a credit card or a passport because it has vital information that is private and on a need to know basis.[10] The argument that is currently being put forward is that if our bank details, the same information that accounts for all of our wealth, have to be private then so should DNA typing, the very thing whose absence would make us all the same. Also, that putting us into a database can be classified as 'marking' us or 'branding' us as it is often referred to as the human barcode.[11] Officials state that submitting DNA is just as east as giving police officers a fingerprint and should not alarm anyone.[12] However the rebuttal towards that point is very effective where Tania Simoncelli of the ACLU says DNA is far more personal than a fingerprint. A DNA sample "contains a great deal of information. ...read more.

Conclusion

Police Department has nearly 7,000 untested DNA samples from sexual assault cases in cold storage. A state audit said the LAPD would need more than $9 million to clear the backlog. During the time that samples remain untested in cold storage, offenders may commit crimes that could have been prevented. [18] It is far easier and less expensive to run known offender samples than it is to run crime scene samples. "You can run thousands of felon samples for every couple cases of crime scene evidence you run," Ferrara says. With a major DNA database expansion, a forensics department with a limited budget suddenly has to balance an existing backlog of crime scene samples with tens of thousands of known offenders who have to be added to the database right away.[20] In conclusion, I believe that without modern genetics our judicial system would be as accurate as it is today, although I also believe that DNA evidence is relied upon too heavily in today's society as in many cases where the prosecution has not been able to find a DNA match, but has other evidence such as motive and falsified alibi, the hard evidence is ignored and the case collapses completely where if the accused was guilty he can carry on committing the perfect crimes where he sheds no DNA. ...read more.

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