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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 22 2020, @03:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the 60%-likely-is-40%-unlikely dept.


How similar do you think you are to your second cousin? Or your estranged great aunt?

Would you like to have people assess your behaviour from what your great aunt has done? How would you feel if courts used data gained from them to decide how you are likely to behave in the future?

Scientists are making connections between a person's DNA and their tendencies for certain kinds of behaviour. At the same time, commercial DNA databases are becoming more common and police are gaining access to them.

When these trends combine, genetic data inferred about offenders from their relatives might one day be used by courts to determine sentences. In the future, the data from your great aunt could be used by a court to determine how severely you are punished for a crime.

[...] A Florida judge recently approved a warrant to search a genetic genealogy , GED Match. This American company has approximately 1.3 million users who have uploaded their personal genetic data, with the assumption of privacy, in the hope of discovering their family tree.

The court directly overruled these users' request for privacy and now the company is obliged to hand over the data.

[...] This might be used by the prosecution to make the case for a longer sentence. In some jurisdictions and circumstances, the prosecution may have a means of obtaining a sample of DNA directly from the offender. But where this is not legally possible without the offender's consent, the inference from relatives might fill a gap in the prosecution's case about how dangerous the offender is.

Your ability to be granted bail may hinge on your genes.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @04:58PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 22 2020, @04:58PM (#946884)

    When a dog attacks a person few would think the dog is truly, cognitively, at fault. They're animals and animals brain's don't necessarily have the same ability to control themselves or process information in the way that we do. Yet far from being an argument for the dog's innocence, that is exactly the reason that they tend to be put down after such a situation. Because that animal has shown itself to be unable to behave within a civilized society and so there's a real risk of it acting out again.

    For a person we of course grant greater rights to, but it's really the exact same thing. Some guy claiming that he can't control himself is not a defense. Especially if it's true, he needs to be locked away for a long time. Some might propose shipping him off to a mental asylum to be pumped full of anti-psychotic and other "medications" but all these things really do is dull somebody to the point of them becoming a human zombie. I find jail, ironically, more humane.

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