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

MedicalXPress:

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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23 2020, @02:03AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23 2020, @02:03AM (#947169)

    Kant is close to cancelled [openculture.com] and the postmodern interpretation eschews the moral imperative in favor of the immorality of morality:P Did you know the original terminology for what we call sociopathy was "moral imbecile"? [wiley.com] Does lacking a conscience [webmd.com] and being incapable of understanding a moral calculus make predatory behavior excusable?

    I say not and do not consider the imposition of morality on the amoral to be immoral. Also, that last sentence should never be read aloud.

  • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Thursday January 23 2020, @02:22PM

    by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 23 2020, @02:22PM (#947393) Journal

    Of course it's not excusable. It always represents something gone wrong when one person harms another. I just think it's quite rare that the problem is insufficient punishment and deterrence