Government DNA databanks play an increasing role in the criminal justice system, both in determining guilt and in establishing the innocence of wrongly convicted criminals. As these databases grow in scope and number, they raise formidable civil liberties, administrative and other public policy concerns. Chief among these are: the appropriate scope of database sampling (from violent sex offenders to all convicted criminals, non-convicted arrestees, and even population-wide “Dragnet” sampling); standards of consent for acquiring DNA from suspected or convicted criminals; privacy provisions for sample profiles stored and maintained in forensic databanks; and the relationship of these databases to ongoing post conviction DNA testing and relief. This site provides documents the key legal precedent governing the use of DNA in the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on forensic DNA databanks.

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