6 Predominant Pros and Cons of DNA Fingerprinting
DNA fingerprinting is a fairly new technology that uses a sample of someone’s DNA, such hair or blood. A person’s DNA contains all of the information that is needed to identify them. This technology has been used for many different purposes, including to determine paternity for a child, solve crimes, and even prove innocence for people who have already been wrongfully convicted of a crime. While DNA fingerprinting is becoming more and more mainstream practice, people are beginning to wonder if this powerful technology is actually a major invasion of privacy. Let’s look at both sides of the issue.
The Pros of DNA Fingerprinting
1. Solving Crimes
Identifying people with even just the smallest piece of DNA evidence is made very simple with DNA fingerprinting. Being able to identify a person that committed a crime so positively makes everyone’s job easier, and helps to keep less bad people on the street.
2. Reversing Wrongful Convictions
Many people each year are convicted of crimes that they in fact did not commit. There are people who spend years and years in prison before this is discovered. DNA fingerprinting not only helps to prevent the conviction of innocent people, but to prove the innocence of people who have already been convicted of crimes and are serving their punishment.
The Cons of DNA Fingerprinting
1. Violation of Privacy
Your DNA is essentially everything about you. By collecting DNA fingerprints from people, you are not allowing them to stay separated or out of the government system. DNA contains quite a bit of genetic material, which can also be used for cloning. Some people even fear that the government would begin to clone people without their consent or knowledge.
2. Strong Sway Over Juries
DNA evidence is some of the strongest evidence that can be presented against someone in a jury trial. If this evidence is positive, it is almost impossible to convince a jury that the person isn’t guilty. Many believe that this causes an infringement on a person’s right to a fair trial.
Everything from the way that we look, the diseases that we may have, and many other things are stored within our DNA. If the government begins to collect this material they could essentially begin to profile us without even knowing who we are. This is a fear that has been alive and well for quite some time, and seems to only be getting stronger.
4. Against Our Will
The government has spoken many times about making DNA fingerprinting mandatory for every citizen. This would be very bad because it would mean that the government is creating a DNA database of every single person in the country, and this could be used for many negative purposes.