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New Jersey proposal could allow DNA sampling for minor crimes

New Jersey proposal could allow DNA sampling for minor crimes

A New Jersey lawmaker proposed this month to allow DNA sampling from all people convicted of even minor crimes. These crimes would include things like shoplifting of small items and trespassing.

Under a law like this, anyone who is convicted of a crime would have their DNA stored in a database, which could then be used to track their DNA back to other crimes. Some people are calling this a violation of a person's privacy.

Not only would this law apply to adults, but it would also apply to juveniles. Having DNA recorded by the government could unfairly lead to a conviction of another crime. If a person was at a store where a crime was committed and a hair was found, they might be linked back to that crime even if they didn't actually commit it. It is very possible for people who have committed minor crimes in the past to leave traces of their DNA in a public place, where a future crime might be committed.

Should someone who makes a mistake at a young age have their DNA recorded in a database for the rest of their life? This bill is in its early stages in the New Jersey legislature, but if it passes, many people who commit minor crimes might be linked unfairly to more serious crimes, and unfair convictions of those crimes.

If someone is accused of a crime they might want to make sure they understand their rights by speaking with an attorney before giving information to authorities.

Source: Fox News, "New Jersey lawmaker wants DNA from those convicted of minor crimes," March 22, 2012

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