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Letters: DNA in the hands of police

June 12, 2013

Re "DNA done right," Letters, June 8

Wow, did I get an education reading Saturday's letters to the editor. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and other writers have done us a service: I had no idea that DNA sampling is no more intrusive than fingerprinting.

In an age of blanket collection of telephone metadata and surreptitious scanning of Internet servers, why should one worry that DNA, unlike fingerprints, also provides other important information that can impact any number of things?

But I suppose we should just trust those in charge to be forthright about what goes into this database, how it is used and how it will be protected.

John Brock

Redondo Beach

As a civil libertarian to the bone, I am nevertheless mindful of the handicaps our police forces labor under in the face of the most challenging criminals: serial killers, rapists, pedophiles, arsonists and others. Most of these offenders are caught only late in their criminal careers.

The availability of DNA analysis at least gives police more of a chance under tough circumstances. A DNA swab is a small price to pay for this increased margin of societal protection, particularly now that officials are actually processing rape kits.

So I side with Beck on this one.

Siegfried Othmer

Woodland Hills

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