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Dna Public Policy Essay

1415 words - 6 pages

THE COLLECTION & USE OF
DNA IN COLD CRIMINAL
CASES
By: Deana Reinhardt

Proposal (Stage I):
Allow deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
collection to be part of every arrest
process.

 DNA is currently part of the felony arrest process
 Collection would be expanded to include in
misdemeanor arrests
 Allowing DNA collection at the time of any arrest will
provide additional information into local, state and
national data bases
 Providing law enforcement the tools they need will
ultimately enhance the states' ability to fight crime
 DNA collection from current felony arrests are being
linked to cold cases

 There is a need to solve cold cases- no statute of limitations on
homicide, arson or larceny theft (with a few exceptions)
 Resources are not always readily available for cold case
investigations-staff, finances, case files
 What cold cases should be prioritized
 What evidence can be submitted during the investigation of cold cases-are witnesses still alive, was evidence collected and are records in tact
 Not all states have a Cold Case Unit
 Protocols need to be established for the Cold Case Unit
Identified Problems with DNA and Cold Cases

Developing the Policy (Stage II)
 The perspective of involved, affected, and knowledgeable groups is crucial for this policy to be successful
 This proposal is supported by law enforcement organizations across the state, such as State Sheriffs Association, District Attorneys
Association of the State, State Association of Chiefs of Police, the
State Troopers PBA, Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, Joyful
Heart Foundation, the Safe Horizon victim assistance organization
and many other law enforcement groups
 Different policy options, their benefits, costs and affects on stakeholders will be shared throughout the development, education,
implementation and follow-up of the policy

Developing the Policy (continued)
 Policies will reflect current laws that are in place in a particular state- this may show cause for current policy and law review such as 'statute of limitations'
 It is recognized that the approach taken in investigating a cold case may differ from that of a current criminal case
 As technology advances so should the policies surrounding the use of that technology in cold cases
 Public policy is made to direct where funds should be allocated during a cold case investigation

Public Policy Adoption (Stage III)
 Policies will be adopted on the local, state and/or national level
 It is imperative that each part of the judicial system work together at a local, state and national level in order for the DNA collection process to be
successful
 Logging DNA evidence from an arrest must be done in a timely manor
 Each branch of the judicial system will need to work together as best they can in order for this policy to effective in...

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