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Genetic justice : DNA data banks, criminal investigations, and civil liberties  Cover Image Book Book

Genetic justice : DNA data banks, criminal investigations, and civil liberties / Sheldon Krimsky and Tania Simoncelli.

Krimsky, Sheldon. (Author). Simoncelli, Tania. (Added Author).


National DNA databanks were initially established to catalogue the identities of violent criminals and sex offenders. However, since the mid-1990s, forensic DNA databanks have expanded in some states and nations to include all people who have been arrested, regardless of whether they've been charged or convicted of a crime. The public is largely unaware of these changes and the advances in biotechnology and forensic DNA science that have made them possible, but we are beginning to realize that the unfettered collection of DNA profiles from innocent citizens has compromised our basic freedoms and rights. Two prominent advisors on medical ethics, science policy, and civil liberties take a hard look at how the United States, Australia, Japan, and European countries have balanced the use of DNA data banks in criminal justice with the privacy rights of their citizenry. Sheldon Krimsky and Tania Simoncelli analyze the constitutional, ethical, and sociopolitical implications of expanded DNA collection in the United States and compare these findings to trends in other locations. They examine the development of legal precedent for taking DNA from juveniles, searching DNA databases for possible family members of suspects, conducting "DNA dragnets" of large local populations, and the warrantless acquisition by police of so-called abandoned DNA as they search for suspects. Most intriguing, Krimsky and Simoncelli explode the myth that DNA profiling is infallible, which has profound implications for criminal justice.--Book jacket.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780231145206 (cloth : alk. paper)
  • ISBN: 0231145209 (cloth : alk. paper)
  • ISBN: 9780231517805 (electronic)
  • ISBN: 0231517807 (electronic)
  • Physical Description: xviii, 406 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 2011.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 393) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
pt. I. DNA in law enforcement: history, applications, and expansion : Forensic DNA analysis ; The network of U.S. DNA data banks ; Community DNA dragnets ; Familial DNA searches ; Forensic DNA phenotyping ; Surreptitious biological sampling ; Exonerations: when the DNA doesn't match ; The illusory appeal of a universal DNA data bank -- pt. II. Comparative systems: forensic DNA in five nations : The United Kingdom: paving the way in forensic DNA ; Japan's forensic DNA data bank: a call for reform -- Australia: a quest for uniformity in DNA data banking ; Germany: from eugenics to forensics ; Italy: a data bank in search of a law -- pt. III. Critical perspectives: balancing personal liberty, social equity, and security : Privacy and genetic surveillance ; Racial disparities in DNA data banking ; Fallibility in DNA identification ; The efficacy of DNA data banks: a case of diminishing returns ; Toward a vision of justice: principles for responsible uses of DNA in law enforcement -- Appendix: A comparison of DNA databases in six nations.
Subject: Criminal investigation > Cross-cultural studies.
DNA data banks > Cross-cultural studies.
Evidence, Criminal > Cross-cultural studies.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Kirtland Community College Library HV 8073 .K756 2011 30542610 General Collection Available -

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