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Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers


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There is evidence to suggest that familial searching can improve the convictions achieved through analyzing DNA samples loaded in CODIS. While no statutes exist that explicitly authorize the process, several states have implemented familial DNA searching through legislation or legal decision, while others have banned it. The main points of contention are privacy concerns and the disproportionate impact on minorities. The "Grim Sleeper" case in California demonstrates the successful use of the process to catch a killer while protecting the identities of more than 10 million potential matches. While the process does require additional resources, it could increase the conviction rate currently resulting from the use of CODIS.