Thursday, 12 November 2009

Rights and wrongs of the DNA of innocent people - letter to The Times - NOT PUBLISHED

Sir,

Shami Chakrabati and Chris Grayling make strange bedfellows in criticising the Government over saving the DNA samples of people arrested for but not convicted of a crime. It is not solely a matter of the rights of these people as they suggest, but also of the rights of the wider, law-abiding community. These samples are stored not because of some Kafkaesque conspiracy but for the practical reason that, sadly, a minority of these currently 'innocent' people do go on to commit heinous crimes. Grayling and Chakrabati must not be allowed to occupy the moral high ground without being challenged as to whether their defence of the rights of innocent people not to have their DNA recorded on a database trumps the right of society to maximise the chance of solving a rape or murder and therefore of deterring future crimes. Their position can only be respected if they concede that some rapes and murders will almost certainly go unsolved and therefore more committed, as a result of the Government being forced to change its policy.

Yours faithfully,

John Slinger

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