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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 27, 2009 / 3 Iyar 5769

DNA Database Explosion, or A Li'l Swab Will Do Ya

By Diane Dimond


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What if a policeman approached and ordered you to open wide for a DNA mouth swab test? Suppose you were pulled over on suspicion of DWI, check fraud or skipping child support payments and suddenly you found yourself on the business end of a Q-tip. Would you submit or refuse and ask for your lawyer?


It's not so far-fetched a scenario. Both the FBI and police officials in at least 15 states have recently ratcheted up efforts to collect DNA samples from nearly all those who pass through their systems, whether they're a hardened criminal or merely a suspect. It used to be these tests were administered only to those actually convicted of a crime. But somewhere along the line, authorities determined that creating a bigger suspect pool of known people who have had run-ins with the law was a good thing. In short, they figured it was better to have too many DNA samples than not enough. Suddenly, a suspect in, say, a burglary case could be run through the DNA database to see if he was wanted for something much more serious like rape or murder.


It's a good thing when police catch the bad guy, right?


Those in favor of swabbing all suspects point out that DNA samples have helped convict and remove from the streets thousands of criminals. It's also helped exonerate more than 200 people wrongly convicted. They say that coupled with other evidence, DNA is the capper to making an airtight case.


Those against the idea point to the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, including body searches. They fret that America is becoming a genetic surveillance society with a sort of swabs-are-us mentality. They have filed lawsuits to protect against what they see as the invasion of privacy.


Courts have generally upheld laws calling for the compulsory collection of DNA from convicts. The reasoning has been that once citizens commit a criminal act, they have given up their rights. But, courts have not fully considered this expansion of DNA testing to those not yet found guilty of a crime. You can take it to the bank, however, that those lawsuits are being prepared as you read this.


The field of forensic science goes way back. Even before it had such a fancy name, in the year 700, the Chinese were studying distinct fingerprint patterns on documents. In England, in 1784, a man named John Toms was found guilty of murder after a torn paper in his pocket matched a wad of paper in his pistol. In 1835, Scotland Yard was analyzing flaws in bullets to pair up with murder weapons.


As the commercial used to say, "We've come a long way, baby!" One of the latest jaw droppers in the forensic science field is called "touch DNA." It's only been around a few years and it's a process whereby the scientist can return to any item a perpetrator has touched and, likely, lift the smallest skin cells from which DNA can be extracted.


Scientists used the technique recently in Boulder, Colo., when they reviewed evidence in the cold case of little JonBenet Ramsey. Using the "touch DNA" process, they were able to lift microscopic skin cells off the long johns she was wearing the night she was murdered. An "unexplained third party" intruder has now been identified as belonging to that DNA. And this latest genetic material matches other male DNA previously gathered from a single blood drop found in JonBenet's underwear. The hard part, of course, will be to find the person with whom this mysterious DNA matches.


Maybe the fiend that took JonBenet's life will pop up in America's newly expanded DNA database some day. It's a sure bet that other elusive criminals will. Think about it. If we can put away repeat offenders, not only will countless outstanding crimes be solved, it might also spare other citizens from becoming victims.


I wonder if those against expanded DNA tests are also against other crime-fighting techniques already in widespread use. Is taking a suspect's fingerprints or blood a violation of privacy? How about if police ask for a Social Security number or home address or listen in on a suspect's phone calls? All these tactics and more have been used for decades to help keep the rest of us safe from the criminal.


I have a problem with authority figures ordering me to do something I think is unfair. I worry about government encroachment on my rights. But if I'm not guilty of anything and submitting to such a test would save others from pain or death, why wouldn't I help the police effort? I look at it like giving blood. Give and you could save a life.

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Previously:



04/21/09: The Real America
04/14/09: Sudden windfall of money is like an aphrodisiac to the dishonest: The coming crime spree
04/08/09: Can a Month Change the World



© 2009, Creators Syndicate

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