Saturday, 9 May 2009

Dinna ask

The concern about DNA records leaves me cold. First off - let me state my position that if one leads a straight life, there can be no worries about who knows what about me. Having knowledge is one thing. Making use of it is another.
If a trace of my DNA at a crime scene meant that I would straight away be found guilty I would have concerns. The way things are, I have ample opportunity to refute the finding or to put forward an explanation as to why its presence was innocent or mistaken. No difference there so far as evidence is concerned. If a witness says that he saw me do such and such or heard me say whatever, that person is heard and it is up to me to deal with it. DNA speaks out to the same end but in a different manner.
I suppose many of the objectors have a overall Civil Rights motive in being agin' it. Fine. But, just as your freedom fighter is my terrorist, your Civil Rights are my oppressor. If someone does something to my detriment I want them identified, found and dealt with. All means short of torture should be permitted and utilised in that process. I have faith in the DNA association such as to accept that it is unlikely that two of us have the same DNA - known instances aside.
Defence counsel of today are well versed in dealing with such evidence. Contamination opportunities are rife. Repeated assertions of even a faint possibility of some forensic mishandling will lead a jury of laymen (laywomen - or is that something else?) to give the benefit of the doubt to an accused.
Yes - I may well be banged up for a long period prior to trial with all the risk and unpleasantness that may entail. Yes - I will be put to expense. There will be little mental stress if I know I am not the man they want. There are civil remedies open to me if the close detention were capricious.
Into each life a little rain must fall. I could well suffer very similar trauma from a traffic collision that was not my fault. The same sort of suffering might arise from the conduct of a spouse or from an employer. In the latter case, I might well be the cause of my own inconvenience.
On balance, I'm for retention of DNA records. There is, in my mind, a case for it being recorded at birth as a matter of course. If my remains were found in some state as to deny normal identification, DNA records could bring closure to my family and friends. When the time comes that my confused and tired brain directs me to wander abroad, I can be made known like a well cared for dog.

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