Genetic Fingerprinting

The gradual incorporation of forensic DNA phenotyping or “genetic fingerprinting” in police work draws together concerns about biased databases and racialized predictions.53 Unlike the more common form of genetic testing, in which DNA is used to confirm or rule out the identity of an individual suspect, phenotyping is a predictive technology. And unlike an artist’s sketch that relies on the memory of an eye witness, trace evidence at a crime scene is used by officers to produce a computer-generated image. The image is created by comparing the crime scene sample and particular points in the genome (i.e. AIMS) to samples in an existing database, in order to predict the appearance of a suspect.54

But the relationship between genes and facial variation is not at all clear. Nevertheless a number of companies sell this service to law enforcement, even as experts question the accuracy of the technology. In a New York Times article titled “Building a Face, and a Case, on DNA,” Benedikt Hallgrimsson, head of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, who studies the development of faces at University of Calgary, cautions: “A bit of science fiction at this point.” His article conjures a dystopian reality, if such techniques are used to insulate existing forms of racial profiling from charges of bias. And, as Foucault reminds us, “the guilty person is only one of the targets of punishment. For punishment is directed above all at others, at all the potentially guilty.”

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Genetic Fingerprinting
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay