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Report No. 271

C. Ethical-legal problem of DNA databases in criminal investigation:

3.7 Advances in DNA technology and the discovery of DNA polymorphisms have facilitated the creation of DNA database of individuals for the purpose of criminal investigation9. Many ethical and legal problems arise in the preparation of a DNA database, and these problems are required to be properly addressed by the legal provisions on the subject. There are three possibilities in which database can be created and dealt with, each of them has advantages and drawbacks. Besides, controversial issues arising in each of these possibilities are required to be examined for selecting one of the possibilities according to the specific need.

(i) A system based on a general DNA fingerprinting analysis of the population and a conservation of the DNA profile analysis of all the evidence found at the crime scene.

(ii) A system based on the DNA analysis of samples for a particular list of crimes only and the recording of the DNA profiles of all the evidence found at the crime scene for these particular crimes.

(iii) A system based only on the specific analysis of a case, the taking of samples from an individual who is known to be connected to a fairly high degree with the crime under investigation and a comparison of the evidence which has been collected in this particular investigation.10

3.8 When the DNA analysis of evidence found at the crime scene (for example blood, hair, saliva, sperm, etc.) is compared with the analysis of samples which make up the database, the investigators can locate the possible perpetrator of the crime.

Human DNA Profiling - A Draft Bill for the Use and regulation of DNA-based Technology Back

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