Collecting DNA from crime scenes and individuals and storing it in databases is regarded increasingly as critical for criminal investigation and prosecution. This article considers the development of non-conviction DNA databases in the United States and England and Wales, and examines why current legal trajectories are in opposite directions, with the United States becoming more permissive in terms of database expansion and England and Wales less so. It posits that any such trend is contingent on many factors. Political and cultural variables in England and Wales prompted database expansion, facilitated by the absence of robust constitutional protection for privacy. Nevertheless, the jurisprudence of the European Convention on Human Rights now limits this scheme. In contrast, classical liberal ideology and the construal of the norm of privacy provided a brake in the American context, yet it appears that non-conviction databases will become more common given extant interpretation of the US Constitution.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||International Journal of Evidence and Proof|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2011|