This weekend, GEDmatch changed its Terms of Service to automatically opt every one of the >1,250,000 kits in the database out of matching with any kit uploaded for law enforcement purposes. 28 more words
I am not an attorney and any comments I post are not intended, nor should they be construed, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult a legal expert who is familiar with the area of legal expertise you need.
I thought I was Following The Genetic Genealogist, but seems I wasn’t until today. I saw a link to the above post in another article I found today.
The guiding principle here is informed consent. Although there are arguments that the end justifies the means, or that it is our moral obligation to upload our DNA to GEDmatch, these arguments are not supported by the historical or legal framework of the United States (where all of this is currently taking place). We have a system in place that has spent the past 200+ years in thousands of legal proceedings upholding the principal that the end does not justify the means if it exceeds the power of the government or erodes the privacy of the individual.
I find it disturbing that some major DNA experts and many others in the general public are trying to bully or coerce people into opting-in or making people feel guilty for not supporting their views. These experts are ignoring the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution that they (DNA experts and the general public) will one day regret, and at that point, they will only have themselves to blame. All one has to do is look at not only U. S. history, but history of numerous other countries over the millennia to see why the U. S. Constitution‘s safeguards were put in place and what happens when the safeguards are ignored. Personally, I believe everybody will get justice one day for all the bad things things they have done, including the ones who were never caught. Unfortunately, too often the U. S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has no problem going with what people want over what the Constitution allows and doesn’t allow.
As I have said before and will no doubt say many more times, there are way too many incompetent, bad, corrupt, evil, lazy, apathetic, and/or overzealous law enforcement officers and prosecutors that would have no problem convicting an innocent person because they thought they were so sure the person was guilty. Does it matter which of the above reasons is why law enforcement and prosecutors cross the line? There are plenty of people in jail (one would be one too many) who did not do the crime(s) they were convicted of – https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/dna-evidence-and-miscarriages-of-justice/. Note, I don’t agree that it is anywhere near the numbers that some claim who say almost all or all of those in jails and prisons are innocent.
I knew a law enforcement officer who I respected; he was known for doing the right thing and upholding the law. Imagine my surprise when he confessed to murdering a suspect he had arrested and dumping the body. In his mind, he fell into the above trap of the end justify the means because in his mind, he thought he was saving the town from a bad guy. As far as I can tell, it’s the only major time he crossed the line, but I don’t know if was the only time. However, once you cross the line the first time, it becomes easier and easier to rationalize and justify crossing the line for lesser offenses as time goes on. He died many years ago and it was many years later after his death that I saw newspaper and TV reports of his confession.