Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Karina Vetrano: Wider Police Use of DNA Database

As we have been discussing in class lately, DNA database examination has been in the news in wake of the Karina Vetrano case. Familial searching is using the DNA database to find relatives of people who have been charged with a crime. The argument is that if there is no exact match in the database, that a search should be conducted to find close relatives of the suspect. The state of New York does not authorize this method. Both officials involved in the case and Vetrano’s parents have advocated for the implementation of familial searching. The other side of the argument defends the idea of this being an invasion of privacy of innocent people, or even more seriously, someone being wrongfully acquitted based on the results of familial searching.

This article mentions other cases, such as that of the “Grim-Sleeper” in Los Angeles, CA, that led to an arrest because of the information familial searching had come up with. I believe that this technique should be authorized nation wide. Too often murder cases go unsolved even though we have the tools and technology to solve them right in the palm of our hands. Even when I put myself in the shoes of someone related to a possible suspect, I would feel as though I am facilitating the justice system… I would not be angry or frustrated with “having my privacy invaded”.

Check out this video of Vetrano's mother at the DNA hearing.

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