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New York State Passes DNA Requirement For Almost All Convicted Criminals

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the accused-did-knowingly-and-recklessly-loiter dept.

Crime 260

New submitter greatgreygreengreasy writes "According to NPR, 'Lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals. Most states, including New York, already collect DNA samples from felons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. What's remarkable about the New York bill is that it would expand the state's database to include DNA from people convicted of almost any crime, even misdemeanors as minor as jumping over a subway turnstile.' Gattaca seems closer than we may have thought. Richard Aborn, one of the bill's backers, said, 'We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.'"

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My first thought: (5, Insightful)

jm007 (746228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378265)

Who is making money from this?

Re:My first thought: (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378491)

Perhaps they could hire SAIC to build the database for them!

Re:My first thought: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378813)

So... why does San Francisco have so many fags and Harlem has so many niggers?

San Francisco got first choice.

Re:My first thought: (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378985)

My first thought was "what's this 'Almost All' thing?" As in who gets excluded? The friends and families of politicians and big business people?

The steps. (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378273)

1. Pay to have your DNA sequenced.
2. Copyright your DNA sequence.
3. Get arrested, convicted and have your DNA taken.
4. Sue like your the MPAA.
5. Profit?

Re:The steps. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378337)

Here in Scotland, the police take your DNA for speeding and then keep it regardless of conviction.

Re:The steps. (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378907)

I suspect that it would be impossible to copyright your DNA and have it hold up. But if someone DID manage to do what you suggested, they would either get a law passed that prohibits copyrighting of DNA or they would get a law passed that allows law enforcement to violate copyright on DNA when required to do their jobs.

Does that Apply to Bankers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378277)

Is this for white collar criminals too? Oh wait, the rich don't go to jail, they just make settlements.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (0)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378357)

Oh wait, the rich don't go to jail, they just make settlements.

You should contact Madoff and Blagojevich with your astounding insight.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378505)

Madoff ripped off the rich ofcourse he went down, Blagojevich doesn't fall into in the rich category: http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-politicians/democrats/rod-blagojevich-net-worth/

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (3, Informative)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378527)

Nice comparison arguments...
Madoff pissed off so many rich, and it was so public that no doubt it lead to where it went.
Blagojevich is an insane person who somehow got elected, and was Governor of a state that had three other convicted Governors in the past 30 years. So, he was also a message to the government to stop dicking around with Illinois. Oh, and he is guilty.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378535)

Please. Wake me up when Lloyd Blankfein gets charged under RICO.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (2)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378561)

The problem with those two is that they stole, or tried to steal, money from OTHER rich people. Other rich people get angry, have them sent to jail.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378681)

Yeah that's two out of two million.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#39379015)

All jokes aside though, let's shame a few of the rich guys. I'll open with Strauss-Kahn, Michael Jackson, and Ted Kennedy.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1, Funny)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378381)

The rich in New York don't go to jail, they just make multi-million dollar bonuses.

FTFY

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378615)

For most of the Rich they are not breaking Criminal Laws, they are more often sued under Civil law.
Criminal Law people can go to jail have a criminal history.
Cival Law People pay money.
It is Murder vs. Wrongful Death.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1, Redundant)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378663)

For most of the Rich they are not breaking Criminal Laws

[citation needed]

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378823)

Citation needed for the inverse.

Re:Does that Apply to Bankers? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378943)

Well there are enough laws on the books that for any given person, you can find at least one felony offense that they have committed. Look it up yourself if you do not believe me -- not only are there numerous overly broad laws, but there are so many laws in effect right now that the government itself has actually lost count:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304319804576389601079728920.html [wsj.com]

Why is this different than fingerprints? (2)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378305)

I just don't get the fearmongering.

because unlike fingerprints, this one's not accura (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378369)

DNA testing has been shown to be basically unreliable.

Fingerprints are actually *more* reliable.

Sounds great, huh.

Re:because unlike fingerprints, this one's not acc (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378575)

DNA testing has been shown to be basically unreliable.

There's nothing unreliable about DNA testing. They even employ controls to rule out laboratory contamination.

Fingerprints are actually *more* reliable.

A pseudoscientific method is not more reliable. They don't employ any controls in fingerprint analysis at all. No one who knows anything about this thinks fingerprints are more reliable in DNA. The difference is that with DNA they've taken steps to determine how reliable it is. With fingerprints, they haven't.

DNA not accurate? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378757)

DNA testing has been shown to be basically unreliable. Fingerprints are actually *more* reliable. Sounds great, huh.

I think you need a citation from a credible source on that one? Are you perhaps thinking of the fact that there are different types of DNA tests with different levels of specificity? The less accurate tests are used more commonly for a first round of testing, not unlike blood types, to exclude a suspect. When trying to uniquely identify an individual the more accurate, and more expensive, tests are used.

Re:because unlike fingerprints, this one's not acc (4, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378805)

Fingerprinting has never been subject to a peer reviewed study for accuracy. It is just accepted that they are close enough to unique to work. In general, "forensic science" isn't science.

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (3, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378455)

Fingerprinting is old and mature tech. DNA profiling is still very new, and not very reliable (when you're talking about 1:300,000,000 error in the most detailed profiling that's currently used, however rarely, that's not very reliable. Even less reliable when you're using 32 markers or even 16, when the error ratio goes down to 1:4,000,000 and 1:100,000 respectively). What makes it *even less reliable* is the absolutely pitiful methods employed to maintain records of custody of samples - cross contamination is a real danger, both in transit and inside the lab. Fingerprints can be a: taken on scene, b: sent through an AFIS terminal and c: matched ON SCENE. The chain of custody is limited to *1* and the possibility of cross contamination of the sample is ZERO.

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (2)

jm007 (746228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378475)

Fingerprints are only good for identification.

DNA carries much more information about a person. As technologies improve in the genetics industry and with human ingenuity for dastardly deeds, it's not hard to conceive of how this information could be abused.

Once you're in the system, there's usually no way out. Be very cautious about things with things that can't be undone.

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378481)

Because, unlike fingerprints, DNA can be used for a lot more purposes.

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378519)

Collection of fingerprints is wholly non-invasive. Is the collection of DNA?

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378753)

Scraping some cheek cells?

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378585)

It isn't, but the idea of fingerprinting got well established before we realized how unreliable a way of identifying people it is. Fingerprinting is a decent way of establishing the identity of someone in a setting where you can take their fingerprints in a controlled fashion and compare them to a record of fingerprints taken in a similar manner. However, it is a terrible way of establishing the identity of the person who left fingerprints at a crime scene. There was a study done a few years back where they submitted fingerprint samples to ten experts over a period of time. Only two of the experts returned the same results for the same sample when it was resubmitted to them (with them believing that it was a new sample).

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (4, Insightful)

tiberus (258517) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378741)

While it may be a bit a paranoia, it is certainly not fear mongering. Fingerprint data which is merely an image of the swirls, loops, etc. that make up your finger print basically only one use to show that someone (or thing) left a print a certain location and then to show you are or may have been the person that left that fingerprint.

Your DNA on the other hand is a veritable cornucopia of information. It can reveal your genetic sex, relate you to your family members (who may also be in the database), tell if your a risk for a disease or cancer, a carrier for sickle cell anemia, the list go on and on and well on.

This is a slippery slope issue. New York states that no one else will have access to the information, at least not today. Researchers, medical companies want and eventually ask for and may be granted access to this information to be used to benefit them, not us.

Also consider that processing DNA is much more involved and technically challenging fingerprints, that concerns already exist about chain of custody, accuracy of the information kept and generated...

I simply can't see this ending well.

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378857)

97% of the human genome is "junk" DNA. What does this mean? Simply, that any company who wants to patent a genetic sequence based on junk DNA can do so with no complication.

What I don't get is why all this padding? Is/was "God" a programmer for Microsoft?

Jokes aside, it also means that your DNA, for all intents, belongs to someone else. You're just renting it.

Increasing police power (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378801)

Let's see...
  • The attorney general's office has the power to declare laws, and then to enforce the laws that it declares
  • The police now meet the definition of a paramilitary force, and get large amounts of surplus military equipment from the US military each year.
  • Law enforcement agencies in America have vast, secret intelligence operations
  • Law enforcement agencies in New York are now known to have secretly monitored innocent people, for no reason other than their religion
  • There are so many laws in effect that the police can arrest almost anyone on a whim -- they are nearly guaranteed to find a violation it they simply watch a person go about their daily business. People have even been arrested and prosecuted solely for resisting arrest.
  • There are more prisoners in the United States than in any other country, including authoritarian countries with larger populations (China). Only the USSR and Nazi Germany had larger prison populations.

Do you really need to ask why people are opposed to further increases in police power?

Re:Why is this different than fingerprints? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378861)

I just don't get the fearmongering.

Welcome to slashdot. The opinion of many in this community might be characterized as: The government should not have a thick file on every person. Only Google should have such info. ;-)

My body, My Rights, My DNA (1)

DEFFENDER (469046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378309)

I refuse to believe this is is constitutional. A policing body taking my genetic code and doing god know what with it if I jay walk or look at a cop wrong? Lets see how this silly piece of paper hold up in court.

Re:My body, My Rights, My DNA (0)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378409)

As long as there isn't any incriminating genetic engineering in your DNA, you shouldn't have a problem with this.

Re:My body, My Rights, My DNA (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378835)

Watch Gattaca (where people are denied jobs simply because they have bad genes, even though doing that is technically illegal). I'm not saying we've reached that stage yet but why would I want to have my DNA in a government database waiting for that future to arrive?

I don't want my DNA "out there" anymore than I want to use my real name on the internet so google can develop an easily-searchable profile of my actions. This DNA collection reminds me of what the East German police did -- collecting millions of specimens (hair, saliva, etc) in bottles so they could track their citizens every move. If you dropped a hair at a store and it later became a murder scene, you were quickly identified through those samples and imprisoned. It didn't matter if you were just a shopper.

As a Canadian, I just decided (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378325)

I never need to ever visit the US ever again.

Re:As a Canadian, I just decided (-1, Flamebait)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378619)

Why, were you doing bad things over there? If you do not commit a crime, you should not get arrested and DNA profiled...

Re:As a Canadian, I just decided (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378621)

If you're from Quebec, good riddance. If you're from anywhere else in Canada, we'll miss you.

Re:As a Canadian, I just decided (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378671)

Why are you thinking about being a Criminal inside the United States? If so you can stay in Canada we don't want you.
Sarcasm aside...
Having your DNA on record isn't much different then getting your fingerprints taken, which will happen if you get arrested too.

Re:As a Canadian, I just decided (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39379051)

Don't worry. If you break US law, I'm sure Canada will be happy to extradite you.

Violent criminal studies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378341)

and violent criminals also begin their lives by conducting in law abiding behavior, like drinking water. If we can catch law abiders early we can catch them before they turn into criminals.

speaking of first thoughts... (-1, Flamebait)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378345)

ACLU are first in line when it comes to defending the rights of people who clearly don't deserve it, where are they right now??

New York State's budget surplus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378353)

I guess the economy must be booming with all these extra taxes that will fund this. Or they will just charge the accused for the "privilege" of using the justice system, and the debts will be collected when the accused borrows from their family or goes into the correctional system to "pay their debt" to society.

Re:New York State's budget surplus (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378735)

You swab your mouth. It gets shipped to a Lab. They put the swab in a machine that records key DNA records and saves it on a hard drive... This isn't a full GNOME match this only gets a few key elements enough to identify you. Compared to trying to solve a crime, you find DNA evidence then you need to use other means to track down the criminal to get their DNA so you can match them up. Taking Teams of people doing investigation to track down the person. Vs. getting the evidence sent that to the lab... You find a match and go and knock on the persons door with a warrant.

Re:New York State's budget surplus (1)

pakar (813627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39379023)

And there are no cases where people have been innocent but still convicted just because there where a very strong suspicion that the person did it...

Or how about that there are lots of people accepting rulings without a jury because they cannot afford a lawyer and accepting a 2 year probation sentence instead of risking going to jail and loosing everything they have.. Just getting arrested for something can cause havoc on people's lives, even if they are cleared of all wrong-doing..

I could agree to something like this IF you could have something like "We suspect person X, is this person X DNA?" Yes/No... With this you could get the benefits of checking a group of 10 people quite fast, but it would not be allowed to search the entire database when this is known to cause false-positives.. But even if it started this way the politicians would screw it up too.

The quote "Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither" seems fitting here..

Interesting (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378365)

So this applies to basically every person who voted for the law...

Clone Army in the making. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378367)

Having a DNA of the most violent people in your database is the best way to conquer the world!

why stop there? (1)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378451)

For really violent criminals (that sign an agreement) they could make slave clones. Kind of like "The Island" but using the other end of the social spectrum.

Violent criminels don't make good soldiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378605)

Having a DNA of the most violent people in your database is the best way to conquer the world!

Not really. Good soldiers tend to have good self discipline and good judgement. Two characteristics that probably do not correlate well with violent criminals.

More importantly they already have the DNA of violent felons. The who point of the fine article is that they are now going to collect the DNA of non-violent minor criminals.

Wouldn't it be easier... (3, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378375)

...to just imprison everyone, and let out only those who can prove they haven't committed a crime?

Re:Wouldn't it be easier... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378405)

Tutututuuuuuutututu.....ssst..

Re:Wouldn't it be easier... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378469)

Wow.. Think of the reduction in traffic... And no more waiting at the DMV!! Hell yeah!

Re:Wouldn't it be easier... (4, Insightful)

Tyrannosaur (2485772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378649)

...to just imprison everyone, and let out only those who can prove they haven't committed and will never commit a crime?

FTFY

Re:Wouldn't it be easier... (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378779)

we are all, already, imprisoned.

(deep thought for friday morning, I know).

you are not free to move around and you are not free to do many things. sure, we have some token liberties given to us, as they often throw dogs a bone.

but we are, in a very real sense, imprisoned. you can name many things you think you can freely do but I can probably name more things that we should be able to do and we can't.

society is a balance of control and freedom. I think we jumped the shark a few decades ago and its been downhill on the freedom ride ever since.

this just proves it, but in a more blatant and in-your-face way. they don't even try to hide it anymore.

Re:Wouldn't it be easier... (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378887)

...to just imprison everyone, and let out only those who can prove they haven't committed a crime?

DON'T GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS!!!

The UK already has this, and worse (4, Insightful)

SteWhite (212909) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378389)

As usual for an invasion of privacy or violation of fundamental rights, the UK got there first. In England, you get your DNA taken and stored simply if you get arrested - you don't even need to be charged, let alone convicted.

Re:The UK already has this, and worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378497)

That's a fucking atrocity.

Re:The UK already has this, and worse (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378945)

That's a fucking atrocity.

Rape. Murder. Torture. The collected works of Justin Bieber.

Let's have a little perspective here.

Re:The UK already has this, and worse (5, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378697)

As usual, this is not the whole story.

Part of processing your arrest involves taking your biometric identifiers (fingerprints, DNA) and storing them. If you are not charged or are acquitted, you can apply to have your biometric data destroyed, although I understand this process is complex, lengthy, and almost always unsuccessful. This is obviously the wrong way to go about it, but it's the way it is.

This is being challenged in the ECHR, if I remember correctly. Destruction without request on no charge or acquital would be a start, taking samples only upon conviction much better. However, it's all "to prevent terrorism" or "to protect the children", so I'm surprised they don't ask for an actual pound of flesh.

Re:The UK already has this, and worse (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378995)

Problem is even if a decision comes from the ECHR the UK courts have said that they'll treat them as advisories and nothing more, to be discarded when it suits (have a look through decisions made in the Family Division of the High Court, particularly at Hague cases. Wall LJ himself went public stating that he spoke for the vast majority of judges in saying that ECHR had no jurisdiction in British courts and that their decisions would be summarily ignored).

ECHR has no teeth in the British legal system.

Re:The UK already has this, and worse (1)

timholman (71886) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378811)

As usual for an invasion of privacy or violation of fundamental rights, the UK got there first. In England, you get your DNA taken and stored simply if you get arrested - you don't even need to be charged, let alone convicted.

So by that logic, the police shouldn't take and store the fingerprints of anyone they arrest, because they haven't been charged or convicted. Yet the police have been doing exactly that for more than 100 years.

Those "fundamental rights" you complain about were lost a long time ago. All that has changed is that the police are now running a swab through the arrestee's mouth rather than inking his fingers, or forcing his hand onto a scanner.

A common Slashdot meme is to complain how the general public panics over a new technology, even though nothing fundamentally changes in how people use it. So why are Slashdotters getting so worked up about DNA sampling? It is a logical outgrowth of modern technology applied to century-old police procedures.

Re:The UK already has this, and worse (1)

old man moss (863461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39379049)

When the European Court of Human Rights ruled that this was illegal in 2008 the UK government promised to delete the profiles of innocent people. But they backtracked in 2011 and decided to keep the profiles in "anonymised" form: where "anonymised" means a form that doesn't directly retain the person's name, but does retain the case barcode, so can be linked back to them with some effort.

Criminals will be acting like superstitious folk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378411)

from the middle ages --- horrifyingly worried about someone getting control over them 'cause they lost a bit of hair or a fingernail clipping or a bit of blood.

Beginnings of a violent criminal (5, Insightful)

wheeda (520016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378413)

Most violent criminals have their beginnings as a crying baby. Ergo, we should collect DNA from all crying babies. This will allow our helpful government to keep us safe. I'm way more concerned about turnstile jumpers than our government collecting a little DNA.

Scary because DNA tests are not unique (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378439)

DNA fingerprinting techniques 'can sometimes give the wrong results'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1302156/DNA-fingerprinting-wrong-results.html#ixzz1pINb0FPk

DNA's dirty little secret: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2010/1003.bobelian.html
Typically, law enforcement and prosecutors rely on FBI estimates for the rarity of a given DNA profile—a figure can be as remote as one in many trillions when investigators have all thirteen markers to work with. In Puckett’s case, where there were only five and a half markers available, the San Francisco crime lab put the figure at one in 1.1 million—still remote enough to erase any reasonable doubt of his guilt. The problem is that, according to most scientists, this statistic is only relevant when DNA material is used to link a crime directly to a suspect identified through eyewitness testimony or other evidence. In cases where a suspect is found by searching through large databases, the chances of accidentally hitting on the wrong person are orders of magnitude higher.

Re:Scary because DNA tests are not unique (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378793)

However you can narrow your list down.

Ok a crime happened in the Bronx. You match the DNA up you see one match belongs to one guy who lives in Queens, and an other from a guy who lives in Albany. Who do you question first?

Re:Scary because DNA tests are not unique (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378837)

Based on the amount of traffic on the Triborough and Whitestone bridges, I would have to say the guy from Albany...

</sarcasm>

Horrible argument (5, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378449)

We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.

I'm curious how many people who are generally considered to be law-abiding citizens have a misdemeanor at some point in their past which did not lead to later felonies. I'd really like to see that number, becaue I bet it would dwarf the amount of people who escalated their criminal activity to felonies later in life. How many criminals do you have to apprehend using these new samples to justify getting samples for all of those law-abiding folks?

Re:Horrible argument (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378599)

I'm curious how many people who are generally considered to be law-abiding citizens have a misdemeanor at some point in their past which did not lead to later felonies

Considering how everyone will commit at least one felony in their lifetime....

Re:Horrible argument (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378833)

There is a book "Three Felonies a Day". From the Amazon description "The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague."

Re:Horrible argument (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378601)

Or how about the obvious sentiment that EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE. No one starts out murdering people, for fuck's sake. You might as well claim that most criminals start out breathing air. Yeah...no shit.

Re:Horrible argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378829)

Au contraire! May I present Tyrion Lannister?

Re:Horrible argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378611)

I agree with you. However, the government does not consider itself to be in the business of not hassling innocent citizens. (To quote Unforgiven: "(with disdain) Innocent of what?") So there's no point in the calculus of protecting the rights of the innocent to not be unjustly searched (without their knowledge, by people and computers unknown at times and frequencies unknown, for purposes currently described as "catching violent criminals" but which it would be nearly impossible to prevent expanding).

Also, lawmakers aren't big on calculus of rights anyway. They tend to be more touchy-feely types. As in "this feels like (something my voters will tend to, leading up to the next election, be easy to convince is ) the right thing to do."

In theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378473)

I wouldn't mind them taking convicted criminal's DNA, but only if they start with all elected officials.

DNA recording should be done at birth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378493)

There really is no real reason not to do DNA analysis on every child born in the US. The medical research potential is unfathomable.
Do you know why it's not done? Because it's a very accurate and irrefutable test of paternity. Wait, that's a good thing, right? Don't we want an accurate record of who the father is? It makes sense for a whole lot of reasons.

There's a fact that polite society is not ready to accept, and that is that the amount of children that have the wrong father listed on their birth certificate is high.. Very high. Something on the order of 10-15% Infidelity is is a lot more common than people want to admit.

Correlation does not imply causation (1)

regdul (2561319) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378503)

'We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.' Did anybody ever look at all then nonviolent "criminals" (people who jaywalk, ride the subway without paying etc...) DON'T become violent? I think they would find out it is the great majority.

The new permanent underclass: Felons (5, Insightful)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378581)

When you take away everything, you have nothing to lose! And someone with nothing to lose is the most dangerous thing in the world!

Re:The new permanent underclass: Felons (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378815)

When you take away everything, you have nothing to lose! And someone with nothing to lose is the most dangerous thing in the world!

That's so right.

Once you get a criminal record, you can never work again. Every employer - even for a shitty minimum wage job - requires background checks. Of course, everybody thinks that if you were arrested, you did something horrible - not that you had a joint and you were charge with possession, intent to distribute and even if you knelt on the ground and handcuffed yourself, you were also charged with resisting arrest.

We live in a society that, when it comes to taxes, terrorism, drugs, and child molestation or the perception of it; you are guilty until proven innocent. And with the threat of long drawn out trials that are prohibitively expensive and a good chance of being convicted for something, folks take a deal; which ruins them for life.

Prison isn't for rehabilitation: it's the initial punishment before you're condemned for life to poverty.

Unless you're a banker or someone with great political connections - a 1%'er.

Not going far enough. (2)

tomthepom (314977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378609)

'We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.'"

We also know that violent criminals very often start their lives as children. The earlier we get every child's DNA into a data bank the higher our chances of living in a crime free paradise.

Criminal career (2)

Parelius (892100) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378653)

A study I completed recently found that a staggering 100% of criminals start out as non-criminals. If we can get non-criminal's DNA in the data bank, our chances of apprehending criminals will rise dramatically.

The simple solution (2)

stox (131684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378665)

Death penalty for parking tickets!

violent criminals very often begin their careers (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378691)

"as non-violent criminals"

So that anti-piracy ad is correct? If I download a movie or buy bootleg DVDs from China, I'll eventually turn to hard drugs and killing? Wow. (That was sarcasm; the NY guy's statement is bull and backed-up with no facts.)

So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378695)

So instead of working with non-violent offenders to identify and address the causes of crime, we are just going to kick them around some more under the assumption that if you jump a turnstile you are a worthless human destined to rape and murder; it's just a matter of time.

I can see how apprehending the right person is the solution to the crime problem. Bravo.

By that reasoning ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378725)

They should put the DNA of all politicians, lobbyists, and investment bankers into the database first.

Who "owns" your DNA? (5, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378731)

One thing I'm worried about is the moment when the owner of these DNA databases figures out that they can start selling the information to stakeholders like drug companies. What rights do even felons have to ensure this sort of thing never happens?

Re:Who "owns" your DNA? (2)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39379035)

Mod parent up. This is more than a rights grab by the police. It's an information grab by whatever company is doing DNA work for the police, and who probably lobbied hard to get this law enacted.

Scary Future World (2)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378745)

What's going to happen is a near-future supervillan will gain access to all criminal DNA and clone a new race of super criminals. And I, for one, welcome our new DNA cloned, super felon overlords.

Somewhat hypocritical (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378765)

I find it funny that New York State on the one hand says it is ok for them to keep your genomic information and yet don't trust you to get your own sequenced. From Wikipedia:

In April 2008, New York State's Department of Health sent warning letters to six online genetic testing companies, including 23andMe, notifying them that they cannot offer New York state residents genetic tests without a permit nor can they offer them without authorization from a physician.

I think the NYSDOH should Cease and Desist their own government, I always love seeing bureaucrats at each other, distracts them from messing things up.

Future History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378799)

Imagine, 5000 years from now, archeologists dig up a hard drive with this info. They realize what the data is, but not who it is from. They unknowingly begin to clone our most violent felons, wreaking havoc on world.

You Degenerate! (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378817)

So if my DNA is better than others, does that mean I'm worth more? Do I get better luck with the ladies?

Anonymous (1)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378821)

Can't wait till the Anon script-kiddies do an SQL-injection on THAT gov database and they post all our DNA's to the twitters. Crap.

Why stop there? (1)

IcyHando'Death (239387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378913)

Richard Aborn, one of the bill's backers, said, 'We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.'"

So when some senator discovers that youth who question authority are more likely to be delinquent [google.ca] , what then? Cotton swab for every child that talks back in class? Hair sample from any child that throws a tantrum at daycare.

It's an undeniable fact that a comprensive DNA database of the citizenship would help police do their job. Obviously that's not the only consideration; if it were, why not give the cops unlimited power?

The powers we give the police, like the power we give to anybody, should be meted out carefully with an eye to balancing the pros and cons. We should be asking ourselves: why are we considering more power for police? Crime has been trending down for decades. If anything, striking a better balance now would mean revoking powers, not adding to them.

Not setting the bar low enough... (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378919)

We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.

We also know that nonviolent criminals begin their careers as noncriminals. Why not just require DNA samples from everyone?

We know violent criminals... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378923)

... begin their careers as non-violent criminals, so let's test all the non-violent criminals. Oh, hey, violent criminals also start life as completely innocent. So we really should test all citizens!

Even relatives are caught in the net (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378949)

When police finally had a lead on the BTK serial killer they obtained a sample of a relative's DNA [mit.edu] because they didn't have enough evidence to get sample of his. I assume that will become one of the primary uses of New York's database.

One better... (1)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39378967)

We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers as nonviolent criminals. And the earlier you can get a nonviolent criminal's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person.

One of the little factoids that many people don't know--over 90% of all first-time criminals have never committed a crime before. That's why we need to get all the innocent people's DNA into a data bank--so we can increase the chances of apprehending the right person.

~Loyal

often begin their careers after being born (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39378987)

"We know from lots of studies and lots of data now that violent criminals very often begin their careers after being born. And the earlier you can get a person's DNA in the data bank, the higher your chances are of apprehending the right person." - an idiot

And we haven't even begun to imagine the future abuses. People with gene abnormality ... are 0.001% more likely to become a violent criminal, we should start investigating them at birth. Heck maybe we'll tattoo some sort of symbol on their forehead to warn everyone, that's better than putting it on their clothes they could change those.

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