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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23 2020, @02:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23 2020, @02:31PM (#947401)

    Considering one of the biggest factors in making parole is how close your hearing is to when the judges last had something to eat*, as a society we're not advanced enough to fairly apply anything we learn about genetics. Especially since nurture far, far outweighs anything for crime compared to nature. And anyway, we already have enough knowledge of genetics to apply your judgements. According to you, if your DNA says you have dark skin then you should get harsher sentences. That completely ignores society and that giving those people harsher sentences will also lead them to more crime which further skews the stats toward that DNA trait, It's a never ending downward spiral until people who are likely to give birth to those types of people are killed when they're born (and then those parents are sterilized to prevent another accident). We already fought a world war over this.

    *Due to decision fatigue. Eat something to give your brain more energy to make better decisions. Citation: Read the book "Willpower"