CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, July 9, 2010

"‘Grim Sleeper’ Arrest Fans Debate on DNA Use"

The story is in the New York Times:

LOS ANGELES — The arrest in the case of the “Grim Sleeper” — a serial killer who terrorized South Los Angeles for two decades — has put one of the hottest controversies in American law enforcement to its first major test.

Only two states, Colorado and California, have a codified policy permitting a so-called familial search, the use of DNA samples taken from convicted criminals to track down relatives who may themselves have committed a crime. It is a practice that district attorneys and the police say is an essential tool in catching otherwise elusive criminals, but that privacy experts criticize as a threat to civil liberties.

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