"Any Power wil be abused"

      December 14, 1998
      NYC Wants DNA in All Arrests
     Filed at 3:20 p.m. EST
      By The Associated Press
     NEW YORK (AP) -- Despite objections from civil libertarians, the
     city's police commissioner proposed Monday to take a DNA sample
     along with the fingerprints of everyone arrested.
     Commissioner Howard Safir said the test would solve crimes and help
     curb repeat offenders. ``The innocents have nothing to fear ...
     only if you are guilty should you worry about DNA testing,'' he
     The New York Civil Liberties Union contends that arrest is not
     sufficient grounds for forced collection of DNA.
     But Safir has said that civil libertarians should support the plan
     because DNA has been used to clear innocent people.
     Under Safir's plan, the police would take a swabbing from inside a
     suspect's cheek -- a standard method of collecting DNA - and put
     test results into a database for future reference. Legal and
     forensics experts say DNA is as reliable as fingerprints.
     Many states allow DNA testing of certain convicts, New York among
     them. Only in Louisiana does the testing apply to people under
     Safir's plan would require action by the state Legislature to
     become reality.
     In Britain, where DNA samples are taken from every suspect,
     officials have solved 17 major cases using such data since 1995,
     according to the National Institute of Justice Journal.

   Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
   The information contained in this AP Online news report
   may not be republished or redistributed
   without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Top of Page
Uncivilization and its Discontents

Home Page

Email me, Bill Hammel at
I reserve the right to ignore nonsense.

The URL for this document is:
Created: December 18, 1998
Last Updated: January 28, 1999