Dna profiling module writing assignment

DNA Profiling Module Writing Assignment

due 12/03/14

Choose one of the topics below and discuss critically your position either in favor of greater use of DNA collection/use of DNA evidence in law enforcement or in favor of more restricted collection/use.

3 page paper, Double-spaced with Times New Roman font size 12. Five Referenced resources appropriately.

Strive for good English, and clear and concise sentence structure
The topics, choose one of the three:

  1. Choose an aspect of the technical limitations in the science of generating DNA profiles that bears on the use or interpretation of DNA evidence by judges and juries. You may choose one of the limitations discussed in class or a technical limitation not discussed in class. (If you are arguing for greater use of DNA evidence, obviously you will try to explain why the technical limitation is not much of a concern; it you are arguing for more restricted use of DNA evidence you will explain why it is a big concern.)   A suggested list of topics (a-e) is included below to get you started. If you use this list in selecting your topic, use just one item on the list.
    1. a. the ease with which DNA evidence samples can be contaminated
      b. the possibility that DNA evidence can be faked
      c. the variability in the quality of the data obtained from one case to the next due
      to signal-to-noise (ie, stutter peaks, allele drop out, noisy baseline, low or
      uneven signal etc.) and that quality issues observed may not get
      communicated clearly to a jury
      d. the possibility that random match probabilities may not be accurately
      calculated (e.g for a crime committed in a community with high levels of
      “population structure”, which would underestimate the probability)
      e. the possibility that the crime lab made mistakes in sample handling
  2. Discuss your position on the current law enforcement practice in California of collecting DNA samples from all individuals arrested for felonies for inclusion in the national DNA database. It is important to emphasize the consequences to society (both positive and negative) if your position were the one adopted and explain clearly why the positives outweigh the negatives.
  3. Discuss your position on whether “shed” or “abandoned” DNA samples should be freely available for collection by law enforcement for DNA sequencing without a warrant. Include as part of your discussion the specific benefits or drawbacks to society over the procurement and sequencing of “shed” DNA.

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