DNA Searches: A Liberal Communitarian Approach

  • Amitai Etzioni
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity book series (PSCYBER)


Arguments concerning the conditions under which public authorities may collect, analyze, and retain DNA samples and profiles for the purpose of investigating crimes (“forensic DNA usages”) are often couched in terms of a familiar debate between individual rights and the common good. That is, the arguments are framed as a confrontation between those who champion individual rights, especially privacy, and those concerned with the common good, especially public safety and national security. Members of the first camp frequently argue that forensic DNA usages without “individualized suspicion,” without specific authorization by the courts, constitute a gross violation of basic rights. Those of the second camp often argue that these searches significantly curb crime, including terrorism, and that the interventions involved are limited.


Criminal Justice System Common Good Crime Scene Partial Match Forensic Laboratory 
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© Amitai Etzioni 2015

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  • Amitai Etzioni

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