[ExI] interesting legal development

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Tue Oct 31 15:36:58 UTC 2023



We have in the past coupla decades developed PRC, polymerase chain reaction,
which allows 60 dollar DNA kits where consumers can find out a list of their
relatives who have also done the kits with that company.  It also allows
anyone to collect an unknown prole's DNA, find out the prole's relatives who
have done DNA kits.  Since there is so much genealogy information available
on the internet, it is easy enough to figure out to a short list of suspects
the identity of the prole.


In a currently ongoing legal case, a mass murderer left behind a sheath with
his DNA on it.  The constables used PCR and figured out who it was
whodunnit.  But. since it is legally untested. they didn't use that evidence
to catch the perp.  They figured out whodunnit, then knew exactly how to get
the evidence they needed.  They followed him, caught him, based the arrest
warrant on other information but did not mention the DNA match.


The prosecution doesn't need the DNA evidence to convict the guy, they have
plenty of other evidence, which they found because they had identified him
using DNA, which in itself in inadmissible evidence.


So now. the really hardcore civil libertarians among us are arguing that
doing the PRC and using a commercial company on his DNA violates his 4th and
5th amendment rights.  Reasoning: it represents testimony against himself,
and unwitting testimony from "witnesses" who would be his second and third
cousins whose genetic similarity to him was what got him caught.


So the argument becomes a little like the bad guy at the end of the Scooby
Doo cartoons, where the bad guy now says "I woulda gotten away with it too,
had it not been for that meddling DNA!"


Whaddya think, especially USians?  Is that a legitimate argument?  I am
leaning toward saying DNA evidence is equivalent to video of the bad guy,
which is generally admissible by prosecutors in the USA, and is generally
allowed as a means of catching the perp, but is generally rejected as
evidence in the UK.



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