DNA Used to Nab Criminal Kin

But questions arise over genetic privacy of innocent relatives
By Elizabeth Wolff,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2008 12:51 PM CDT
DNA Used to Nab Criminal Kin
DNA testing of relatives can help law enforcement identify criminals   (Getty Images)

Law-enforcement agencies are using DNA of family members—often without their consent—to identify and convict criminals, the Washington Post reports. Privacy advocates object that it turns family members into unwitting informants, and subjects innocent relatives to “lifelong genetic surveillance” because someone in their family committed a crime. But investigators say it could increase DNA-solved cases by as much as 40%.

Reaction differs. While a Wichita woman "had no problem" with the use of her pap smear test to convict her father of the brutal “Bind, Torture, Kill” serial murders, a Louisiana woman felt “betrayed” when her DNA, collected after she reported a rape, was used to convict her brother in a string of unrelated rapes. (More crime stories.)

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