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Jan 14, 2013

I read with great interest about the new federal law that will help fund DNA collection.  It's a bipartisan bill, signed by President Obama, and Governor Walker is happy about it, as is our Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.  The fact that it's a bipartisan bill, I think it's hopeful that this will help with our current criminal justice system in the State of Wisconsin.

Currently, only felons and sex offenders convicted are tested for DNA.  Now, upon arrest, depending on what they are being brought in for, will determine if they get DNA tested or not.  Those accused of felonies, sex crimes and conviction of other certain misdemeanors will have to have a test.  As an advocate for those who are sexually abused in any way, shape or form, I fully agree that this is a good idea.  Sometimes, trauma is so bad, that you may not remember all of the details.  Or, the perpetrators are so dangerous, you are afraid to report or testify.  All perpetrators will say that it either didn't happen, or that it was consensual.  The test will confirm that it did happen.

Yet, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wants to state something of the sort that it's still an expensive process, and that we won't get half the money we need to fund the cause.  Well, lets look at it this way.  Currently, we may have to take MORE out of the schools, gang prevention, prisons, and more to cover the cost.  If we start doing DNA testing right off the bat, those who really are innocent would be let out ASAP, thus saving tax money that otherwise would have gone to detain this person.  If this person matches the DNA in the crime, then the trial can begin right away, thus saving even MORE tax money that won't clog up the courts, and off to the speedy trial we are supposed to have.  The efficiency it leaves behind will ensure that more funds are available in a relatively short amount of time, and then will go forth to save even more money, so, the small amount of help will actually be huge, and the amount we spend now will reduce even further.

Think about how much time the police and other investigators will save because now they don't need to chase nearly as many fleeting leads or other vague evidence?  The DNA will be there clearly.  It's a good thing.  Right?

Well, the civil rights advocates want to talk about how this is an invasion of privacy, and how not enough money could help pay for this.  Invasion of privacy?  Really?  There is already probable cause to be arrested in the first place.  So, if you were to be arrested for a heinous crime, and you knew that you were innocent, and then DNA could absolve you, wouldn't you give the DNA sample?  What if you or your loved ones were violated beyond what could be imagined, and there are two possible suspects?  Wouldn't you want them to be tested so the right one gets it?  Oh, but no.  Arrested suspects of probable cause might get their feelers hurt, because DNA testing might invade part of their privacy.

I guess this is why it's the criminal justice system, not the victim defense system.  It's too bad, because seriously?  We need to bring the non-violent criminals out and put the violent ones in.  I just hope that common sense can catch up with everything.

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Posted: Monday January 14, 2013, 8:42 pm
Tags: justice rights civil criminal [add/edit tags]

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Lika S.
female, age 45, married, 2 children
Racine, WI, USA
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