1st Place, People's Choice, Winter 2020
By: Madelyn Gehrich, Alizée Natsoulis, Taylor Ann Yamane, and Maria Zarifis
A magazine exploring the intersection of Consumer Genetic Tests and the Courtroom.
From the magazine:
“Against the backdrop of the Golden State Killer case, we explore the biology, ethics and legal considerations of emerging forensic DNA techniques, including genetic genealogy, unprecedented law enforcement tactics, and the collection of “abandoned” DNA. Forensic scientists and geneticists are developing increasingly powerful DNA analysis techniques and must grapple with the practical applications of their work. The law enforcement community has incorporated these new techniques into investigations, allowing cold cases to be solved, and improving the efficiency of current investigations.
On the flip side, hundreds of exonerations have been based on new DNA evidence. Others have approached the controversy over the use of forensic DNA techniques from an ethical perspective, raising concerns about the genetic privacy of citizens while also considering the benefits to public safety.
In the aftermath of the Golden State Killer case and other investigations that utilized consumer DNA databases, direct to consumer genetic testing companies and public genealogy databases have had to adapt their policies in response to concerns about genetic privacy and proper informed consent of their database users. Legal scholars have debated what genetic privacy means in a legal sense, and courts have ruled on the constitutionality of DNA collection and related practices. Finally, policymakers at a national and state level are beginning to implement legislation addressing the issue of genetic privacy, and regulating law enforcement practices related to DNA.”comments powered by Disqus