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Genetics

06 July 2011

DNA and criminals' rights

Crime in South Africa is no small matter. People are sick and tired of it, and many are desperate for a solution. But lest we forget: criminals have rights too.

South Africans are sick and tired of crime, and many are desperate for a solution. But lest we forget: criminals have rights too.

One reason our database is so limited is that it currently consists only of DNA profiles from samples collected at crime scenes, and from persons arrested as suspects. Other countries' databases include the DNA profiles of convicted offenders, but owing to currently insufficent legislation, ours does not. An amendment to the Criminal Procedures Act may allow for the Database to expand to include DNA profiles of offenders – and if lobbyists in favour of the expansion of the database have their way, it would include the profiles of arrestees, whether they were convicted of the crime or not.

 

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