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WDYT About This Story About Mass DNA Testing after Assault at French School?


Crimson Wife
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475 male pupils and 52 adults are being DNA tested at a high school in France after a girl was assaulted in a dark restroom. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27020933

 

I can't decide how I feel about it. As mother to a boy, I feel like the investigation is treating all males at the school as guilty until proven innocent. But as mom to 2 girls, I'd want the police to catch the perpetrator before he strikes again.

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I can't decide how I feel about it. As mother to a boy, I feel like the investigation is treating all males at the school as guilty until proven innocent. But as mom to 2 girls, I'd want the police to catch the perpetrator before he strikes again.

 

Exactly what you said.  They say they will destroy all negative test results.  But I'm just cynical enough to not believe them.  It is voluntary to be tested, but how voluntary is it really if nearly everyone gets tested.  Chances are most people who are innocent will be happy to be able to prove their innocence through DNA testing.  Only a few, if any, of those innocent may refuse the test because if you refuse (and all those tested are negative) you are immediately one of the group of narrowed down suspects.  But at the same time, if I was the girl's mother I'd be applauding anything they could do to find the rapist.

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I think my concern would be that the prosecutor is promising to destroy the DNA samples that are negative, but I wonder if that will really happen.  France keeps a national DNA registry.  I don't know about their justice system, but I would be concerned that the samples can't actually be destroyed without compromising a criminal case.  I can imagine the accuse demanding discovery of the sample evidence - perhaps alleging that there was fraud or mistake.  So what if a judge ordered that the defense is entitled to review the evidence gathered?  That is a reasonable, normal thing for the defense to be given access too.   Even if the names are redacted from what is provided to the defense, the police might have to maintain that evidence until a criminal case is through the appeal process. I would just be concerned about giving my child's most private information over to the state.

 

I don't know.  I hope they find out who did this, and I think most people will go along with it.  But giving your DNA is pretty invasive.  I would be upset if everyone in my community were asked to "volunteer" to have their houses searched and were told that it's voluntary, but refusing to have your house  (or let's say, computer) searched would make you suspect.  To me, giving your DNA is more invasive than having someone search your house or computer, either of which would still be a major major invasion.. 

 

I am not sure what I would do as a parent in this situation.  Obviously, I would want the rapist caught.  But it's the job of police to want to solve crimes.  The big things, we get. I understand wanting to test the DNA of every man after a rape.  I understand wanting to test the DNA of every woman after a newborn is found in the trash.  But then other, slightly lesser crimes come to mind.  Is it a slippery slope?  What if someone stole $1000 from the school cash box and left DNA on, say, a cigarette on the scene?  Probably we don't think  that justifies the invasion of privacy, but how about the in between case? How about someone comes in, threatens and ties up children, and then steals money?  NOW do we think mass DNA sampling of everyone who lives in town is ok?  I am sure we can make up a lot of cases that don't rise to the level of rape or murder but that might be solved with mass DNA testing, and we can imagine cases in which searching every house in a certain area might reveal who committed a serious crime.  And any of us can consent to having our houses searched, our hard drives searched, or our DNA sampled.  But I think it's pretty overbearing to say, "We want everyone to consent to this search, but since we have no probable cause, it is voluntary.  But if you don't volunteer, you will be a suspect." 

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In the U.S. they are free to ask and you are free to refuse, and they don't have to ask if they can obtain the samples indirectly. for example, they could go through all the gym lockers (property of school, no expectation of privacy) and take DNA samples to see if one of them matches.

 

Taking an international view, if it's within the French civil code, it's perfectly reasonable.

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The legality of the testing isn't really my concern here (I presume that it is under French law). What I'm torn about is the balance between the presumption of innocence and wanting to see whoever committed the crime sent to prison before he hurts another victim.

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In the U.S. they are free to ask and you are free to refuse, and they don't have to ask if they can obtain the samples indirectly. for example, they could go through all the gym lockers (property of school, no expectation of privacy) and take DNA samples to see if one of them matches.

 

Taking an international view, if it's within the French civil code, it's perfectly reasonable.

Does the french civil code directly address this? I don't even know. But actually, I am not sure that everything becomes reasonable (to me) when a law is passed making it legal. We were asked our opinions, and I am a little conflicted about it. But whether if would be permissible in the US is not particularly controlling to my response as to my opinion nor is the French Code. I might have concerns about the collection of human DNA data under this kind of coercion even if it is technically legal.
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I think what would scare most Americans about giving a DNA sample is how the medical information it contains could be used. The French wouldn't have that concern because they can't lose their health insurance. Maybe our attitude will change once we're more accustomed to not having to worry about pre-existing conditions.

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I think there is a philosophical gulf between "presumed innocent" and "presumed guilty" -- a continuum that involves various things like "being suspected" and "somewhat plausible" and "accused" -- etc.

 

I don't think all these males are "presumed guilty". It's logically impossible to presume they are all guilty if there was only one (or a limited number) assailant(s).

 

DNA is a way to 'clear yourself' of all suspicion... But not giving it does not 'make you a suspect' -- you were already a suspect. You just remain a suspect while others choose to clear themselves.

 

I think of it kinda like a chemical alibi -- "I wasn't there, me and my cells were somewhere else."

 

I think they would need to destroy the results because the students may be minors.

 

But I think DNA is a useful tool, and I don't know why any law abiding citizens would mind a legitimate law enforcement having some kind if record. Why consider it private, if the only people who would be in trouble over it would be ones who have counted a crime... I suppose I'm not accounting for corruption, law enforcement crimes or dystopian possibilities... Still, I don't see the potential for much harm. (Open to learning though.)

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It's illegal in this country, thankfully.  Yes, it would be a horrifying thing to have happen to your daughter, but it would be more horrifying to have forced mass DNA collection of people without any grounds.  You don't solve crimes by eliminating non-suspects.

 

It does remind me of a book I read ages ago about a similar collection, although it was on a larger scale. It took place in England in 1983 and was detailed in Joseph Wambaugh's The Blooding.

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It's illegal in this country, thankfully. Yes, it would be a horrifying thing to have happen to your daughter, but it would be more horrifying to have forced mass DNA collection of people without any grounds. You don't solve crimes by eliminating non-suspects.].

It would be perfectly legal to ask people to submit dna to eliminate them from suspicion in the US. It would not be ok to take people who refused into custody, as was threatened here.

 

The police can always ask you to submit to any kind of seach. But you can say 'no' and, in theory, you could not then be held and questioned against your will without probable cause. I have no idea what protection the french law provides.

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I think I'd feel a bit better about it if the police had something to narrow down the search aside from "male" and "was at the school". Something like age, build, other physical characteristics, etc. I'm no DNA expert, but wouldn't the sample give clues about things like eye color, hair color, general age (by telomere length), etc.?

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It would be perfectly legal to ask people to submit dna to eliminate them from suspicion in the US. It would not be ok to take people who refused into custody, as was threatened here.

 

The police can always ask you to submit to any kind of seach. But you can say 'no' and, in theory, you could not then be held and questioned against your will without probable cause. I have no idea what protection the french law provides.

 

I don't see any reference to threatening to take people into custody. The only thing I see is that refusing to take part might look suspicious. This is hardly novel; the police consider it suspicious if you refuse to cooperate in any way. If you don't answer questions, if you hire a lawyer, if you refuse a lie detector test . . . lots of things will make you appear suspicious to cops. They are a suspicious lot by nature. 

 

I think I'd feel a bit better about it if the police had something to narrow down the search aside from "male" and "was at the school". Something like age, build, other physical characteristics, etc. I'm no DNA expert, but wouldn't the sample give clues about things like eye color, hair color, general age (by telomere length), etc.?

 

It's really not that reliable or advanced yet. It can tell you gender, which is of course not helpful here. It won't tell you much at all about height, weight, or age. It's more helpful on skin color and eye color, but those factors are somewhat subjective to the average person. At this point, it's probably easier, and less politically loaded, to simply take samples from all willing volunteers. 

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I don't see any reference to threatening to take people into custody. The only thing I see is that refusing to take part might look suspicious. This is hardly novel; the police consider it suspicious if you refuse to cooperate in any way.

I have seen it reported in a few articles, including this one from ABC. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/527-dna-tests-french-high-school-rape-suspect-23314173

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I guess I don't see what the big deal is about the government having my DNA in a jar somewhere.  I can't think of anything they could do with it that's so horrible that it would outweigh ruling myself out as a rape suspect, if I was one of the boys in question.  Oh, the horror, they could find out my risk for various cancers!

 

I'm honestly curious about what everyone thinks the government- French or US- would do with your DNA.   

 

 

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I guess I don't see what the big deal is about the government having my DNA in a jar somewhere. I can't think of anything they could do with it that's so horrible that it would outweigh ruling myself out as a rape suspect, if I was one of the boys in question. Oh, the horror, they could find out my risk for various cancers!

 

I'm honestly curious about what everyone thinks the government- French or US- would do with your DNA.

If you had enemies in high places, your DNA could be planted at a crime scene.

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If you had enemies in high places, your DNA could be planted at a crime scene.

 

I think that's pretty far-fetched though, especially with the tiny amount they'd have.  And realistically, if you have enemies powerful and desperate enough to get your DNA from the government and plant it at a crime scene, DNA is probably the least of your worries. ;)

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I think my concern would be that the prosecutor is promising to destroy the DNA samples that are negative, but I wonder if that will really happen.  France keeps a national DNA registry.  I don't know about their justice system, but I would be concerned that the samples can't actually be destroyed without compromising a criminal case.  I can imagine the accuse demanding discovery of the sample evidence - perhaps alleging that there was fraud or mistake.  So what if a judge ordered that the defense is entitled to review the evidence gathered?  That is a reasonable, normal thing for the defense to be given access too.   Even if the names are redacted from what is provided to the defense, the police might have to maintain that evidence until a criminal case is through the appeal process. I would just be concerned about giving my child's most private information over to the state.

 

I don't know.  I hope they find out who did this, and I think most people will go along with it.  But giving your DNA is pretty invasive.  I would be upset if everyone in my community were asked to "volunteer" to have their houses searched and were told that it's voluntary, but refusing to have your house  (or let's say, computer) searched would make you suspect.  To me, giving your DNA is more invasive than having someone search your house or computer, either of which would still be a major major invasion.. 

 

I am not sure what I would do as a parent in this situation.  Obviously, I would want the rapist caught.  But it's the job of police to want to solve crimes.  The big things, we get. I understand wanting to test the DNA of every man after a rape.  I understand wanting to test the DNA of every woman after a newborn is found in the trash.  But then other, slightly lesser crimes come to mind.  Is it a slippery slope?  What if someone stole $1000 from the school cash box and left DNA on, say, a cigarette on the scene?  Probably we don't think  that justifies the invasion of privacy, but how about the in between case? How about someone comes in, threatens and ties up children, and then steals money?  NOW do we think mass DNA sampling of everyone who lives in town is ok?  I am sure we can make up a lot of cases that don't rise to the level of rape or murder but that might be solved with mass DNA testing, and we can imagine cases in which searching every house in a certain area might reveal who committed a serious crime.  And any of us can consent to having our houses searched, our hard drives searched, or our DNA sampled.  But I think it's pretty overbearing to say, "We want everyone to consent to this search, but since we have no probable cause, it is voluntary.  But if you don't volunteer, you will be a suspect." 

:iagree: Slippery slope, definitely.  Would I still consent to my son's DNA being tested so that he doesn't come under suspicion?  Yes, I would.  Which in my "anti-establishment"  mind causes a serious conflict.  In the end, I would do what's best for my child.  My very serious concern is that one day it will no longer be voluntary, that we will have all "volunteered" ourselves into accepting mandatory.  But then I watched "THX" at a very young age, so my opinions might be a bit warped.

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I guess I don't see what the big deal is about the government having my DNA in a jar somewhere. I can't think of anything they could do with it that's so horrible that it would outweigh ruling myself out as a rape suspect, if I was one of the boys in question. Oh, the horror, they could find out my risk for various cancers!

 

I'm honestly curious about what everyone thinks the government- French or US- would do with your DNA.

I guess I look at a 16 year old kid and think he is likely to live 65, 70 more years. Lots can happen in 65 or 70 years. I don't know how much to trust that the saliva sample will actually be destroyed, and I feel even less confident that any digital records of it's contents will be permanently destroyed. Maybe it will be, but what if it's not? I am thinking your DNA evidence may not just be in a jar somewhere. The evaluation of it may well be transferred digitally.

 

I don't know how well my government (which is also a huge employer) will safeguard that information over the next 60 years. I don't know what the power and motives of hackers might be in 50 years. I don't know what enemies might want access and what they might do with it. I am sure that the French, who remember the Nazi invasion, have some interesting ideas of what evil purposes that information could be used for. Even after my child who submitted saliva is dead, could a corrupt government use it for genetic profiling of his children?

 

It's funny because I usually am the Mom reading these boards and rolling my eyes at people who think they need to stockpile a years of food and water, who anticipate a global wide depression, who worry that this will be the year when swine flu takes over or that their homeschool rights are about to be bulldozed. But in this case I see people willingly allow the search of their most private data, under what appears to be coercion. and it gives me pause. I would want the criminal caught and my boy cleared, but I would like to not help the government college data from it's innocent citizens through threat.

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I feel terrible for the suffering of this girl and her family. 

 

But I find this appalling.  Maybe I'm too much of a conspiracy theorist, maybe I've seen GATTACA too many times, but mass DNA collecting, from minors no less, is a very scary thing to me.  I can't put my finger on exactly why.  As mentioned, the technology we have now and what we'll have even 10 years from now could mean huge progress in DNA decoding. 

 

On a practical level, the grand majority of those students must have been somewhere else, with reliable alibis at the time of the attack.  Why go through the expense and trouble of DNA testing?  Why not actually DO the footwork necessary for the investigation and narrow down the suspect list to something significantly more reasonable?  If mass DNA testing because the new investigation method, I feel it will bring trouble.

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I don't think the French system works the same as the English and ex English colonies. My main thought is that is an incredibly expensive and lazy way of solving a crime. Surely some elimination could be carried out. What if there were several thousand male students present would they test that many. Pity the people who are going to spend weeks testing the samples. Much as CSI would like you to think so you can't just chuck the sample in a machine and have it spit out a nice neat answer.

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I don't think the French system works the same as the English and ex English colonies. My main thought is that is an incredibly expensive and lazy way of solving a crime. Surely some elimination could be carried out. What if there were several thousand male students present would they test that many. Pity the people who are going to spend weeks testing the samples. Much as CSI would like you to think so you can't just chuck the sample in a machine and have it spit out a nice neat answer.

I know, right? It's so much cheaper and more efficient to ask the girl what she was wearing, accuse her of asking for it by wearing a catholic school uniform (the ultimate in fetish fashion) and then take a rape kit but not test it for 15 years. We, apparently, have rape kits that go untested for decades.

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I know, right? It's so much cheaper and more efficient to ask the girl what she was wearing, accuse her of askng for it by wearing a catholic school uniform (the ultimate in fetish fashion) and then take a rape kit but not test it for 15 years. We, apparently, have rape kits that to untested for decades.

As far as I am aware no-one has ever asked to be raped. I just don't believe that they can not eliminate a few more people before they do wholesale testing. They must at least have some people who are more likely that they could start with. Surely the French police are not so incompetent they can't come up with a short list? If it were a party it would make some sense but in a school there is usually some idea of where people are.

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As far as I am aware no-one has ever asked to be raped. I just don't believe that they can not eliminate a few more people before they do wholesale testing. They must at least have some people who are more likely that they could start with. Surely the French police are not so incompetent they can't come up with a short list?

Apparently she didn't see the rapist, so she can not identify him in any way. I am glad they appear to be taking this seriously - so many American young women find their own credibility under attack after a rape. And seriously, I remembered reading that we have hundreds of thousands of back logged rape kits, so I goggled it this morning and it is true. We have rape kits that wait years to be tested. So I am not comfortable calling french police incompetent, though I am also not comfortable with collecting DNA from hundreds of minors.

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Well I suppose they would have had to put a pretty good case to the person holding the purse strings and I am glad they are taking it seriously. It just feels a bit like a fishing expedition and maybe they are using the girl as an excuse. Probably paranoid but since the Rainbow Warrior we are a bit suspicious of the French government.

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How do they know the rapist is one of the student body? Could it have been a teacher or administrator? Could it have been a stranger off the street who sneaked in?

The male adults at the school are also being tested, but yes, it could have been a person who is not part of the school. France conducted a mass DNA test in a neighborhood as part of a rape/murder case in 1997. The murderer was not one of the 400 people tested--he didn't live there--and was later caught in the US after assaulting a woman there.

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They clearly already narrowed down the number of males it could possibly be.  There are 1300 students and 475 male students being tested.  Since I doubt there's almost double the number of girls as boys, some of the boys have already been eliminated.  I tried going to the school website, but it is, of course, in French and even with Google translating it, it's hard to decipher.  So I can't tell what ages attend this school.  I wanted to see if they eliminated young boys who it could not be (see if it's all ages or just high school age at the school).  I also couldn't quite figure out if it's a boarding school or just a day school.  It's possible some have been eliminated due to rock solid alibis as well.  The rape itself happened in September.  The police have been trying to determine who did it for months and feel this is the last resort.  It does make me feel a little better about it since it isn't the first thing they are doing to attempt to figure out who did it.  I do wonder what they will do if all 475 turn out negative.

 

Interesting, from the ABC article:

 

Such testing has occurred in the past. A small town in rural Australia, Wee Waa, tested the entire male population or about 500 men in 2000 after the rape of a 93-year-old woman. It led to the conviction a farm laborer, Stephen James Boney.

 

English police trying to solve the rape and murder of two teenage girls in the village of Narborough were the first to use mass DNA collection in 1986, sampling 5,000 men in the earliest days of genetic testing. Police found the killer, Colin Pitchfork, after he asked a friend for a substitute blood sample.

 

France has also used DNA dragnets, including in 1997 when police trying to solve the rape and murder of a 13-year-old British girl ordered testing for about 3,400 men and boys. In 2004, investigators trying to solve the murder of an 11-year-old boy took 2,300 samples. Neither crime was solved.

 

Last year, a judge in Brittany ordered DNA tests for all 800 men and boys ages 15 to 75 living in a town plagued with arson fires. The man ultimately charged, a local grocer, had been tested but was arrested only after two more fires and more investigation.

 

So there is precedent... and it was actually England where it was done first.

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It's really not that reliable or advanced yet. It can tell you gender, which is of course not helpful here. It won't tell you much at all about height, weight, or age. It's more helpful on skin color and eye color, but those factors are somewhat subjective to the average person. At this point, it's probably easier, and less politically loaded, to simply take samples from all willing volunteers. 

I didn't think of this yesterday, but wouldn't the suspect's DNA show blood type? I'd feel more comfortable about the police first doing mass blood typing, so that all the males who don't have the same blood type as the suspect would get cleared.

 

As mom to a boy, I'd feel a lot better about consenting to a blood typing than a mass DNA screening.

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I have seen it reported in a few articles, including this one from ABC. http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/527-dna-tests-french-high-school-rape-suspect-23314173

 

Thanks. 

 

I wish I could find a direct quote from the French police - in between paraphrasing and the language barrier, I can easily see things getting mangled in the translation. I'm curious as to what 'being taken into custody' actually means, as well. Does it mean you will be taken to the station for questioning, or actually charged with something? 

 

Someone had asked about the criminal being someone who snuck into the school; in the article linked below, the prosecutor says that's possible, but they have reason to think it is someone who knows the building very well: 

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2604450/More-500-boys-male-staff-Catholic-school-France-undergo-DNA-testing-following-rape-girl-16-police-exhaust-leads.html

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They clearly already narrowed down the number of males it could possibly be.  There are 1300 students and 475 male students being tested.  Since I doubt there's almost double the number of girls as boys, some of the boys have already been eliminated.  I tried going to the school website, but it is, of course, in French and even with Google translating it, it's hard to decipher.  So I can't tell what ages attend this school.  I wanted to see if they eliminated young boys who it could not be (see if it's all ages or just high school age at the school).  I also couldn't quite figure out if it's a boarding school or just a day school.  It's possible some have been eliminated due to rock solid alibis as well.  The rape itself happened in September.  The police have been trying to determine who did it for months and feel this is the last resort.  It does make me feel a little better about it since it isn't the first thing they are doing to attempt to figure out who did it.  I do wonder what they will do if all 475 turn out negative.

 

Yeah, it makes me feel better that this is what they're doing only after several months of investigation still haven't turned up a culprit. 

 

I would think that if all of the male staff and students are cleared, then at least people at the school will be able to trust that it wasn't one of them.  The school will also have strong evidence that the rapist was likely an intruder and have reason to implement better security measures to keep the campus safe during the school day.

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They clearly already narrowed down the number of males it could possibly be.  There are 1300 students and 475 male students being tested.  Since I doubt there's almost double the number of girls as boys, some of the boys have already been eliminated.  I tried going to the school website, but it is, of course, in French and even with Google translating it, it's hard to decipher.  So I can't tell what ages attend this school.  I wanted to see if they eliminated young boys who it could not be (see if it's all ages or just high school age at the school).  

 

From the website, it is an ecole as well as a lycee, which means that, in US terms, it will cover all twelve grades and perhaps preschool as well.  So they may have eliminated the younger boys from the DNA testing.  It has been a boarding school in the past, but I can't see if it is now.

 

L

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If you had enemies in high places, your DNA could be planted at a crime scene.

 

A simple break in at your house and the theft of your hair brush would accomplish the same.  Or just trailing you to a coffee shop and pocketing your cup.  We leave material containing our DNA around us all the time.

 

L

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That is a hard one too.  I have both.  If it happened to one of my daughter's I'd be like yes, you test everyone.  Find the SOB that did this to her.  I wished they would have done that back in my high school for some stuff that happened.  Now if I was a  parent of a boy, I be like first prove that he was even at the school at the time of the attack.  Then again, it's just a swab, no big deal and it will help find the girls attacker.

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I'm OK with it….although I voluntarily paid to have my and my kids' DNA analyzed…so take that for what it's worth. I have three sons, and one daughter.  My general philosophy is if you haven't done anything wrong, then it shouldn't bother you…and I'd probably say the same to my sons.  I'm happy that they are taking a sexual assault against a woman so seriously, because usually it isn't.  

 

With what happened with the Madrid Train bombings and fingerprints, I expect we'll se more of this.  I do know there is the potential for abuse, but then again, it's so darn easy to get a sample of anybody's DNA that I'm not sure preventing this solves those worries.

 

On a side note, "presumption of innocence" was, I think, part of the Napoleonic Code…but does that prevent this? I don't think so.

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A simple break in at your house and the theft of your hair brush would accomplish the same. Or just trailing you to a coffee shop and pocketing your cup. We leave material containing our DNA around us all the time.

 

L

Remind me not to get in a heated debate with you. LoL

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My general philosophy is if you haven't done anything wrong, then it shouldn't bother you

This kind of attitude leaves us vulnerable to Big Brother. Just because what I'm doing is considered okay by Big Brother NOW does not mean that it will always be this way. As a Christian I am deeply concerned about the erosion of religious liberty in the U.S. over recent years, and am not hopeful for the future. I pray that I will never see Christianity outlawed during my lifetime, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened eventually.

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I'm surprised by your perspective, and I wouldn't mind hearing more, Crimson Wife.

 

In most of Canada religious liberty seems to be increasing -- not decreasing. I thought I saw similar indications via news from the US... I assume you see it differently.

 

If you feel like engaging on the topic, I'm interested.

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This kind of attitude leaves us vulnerable to Big Brother. Just because what I'm doing is considered okay by Big Brother NOW does not mean that it will always be this way. As a Christian I am deeply concerned about the erosion of religious liberty in the U.S. over recent years, and am not hopeful for the future. I pray that I will never see Christianity outlawed during my lifetime, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened eventually.

 

Erosion of religious liberty in the US for Christians? Really? Bwahahahahaha.  You're speaking to a Muslim…try googling "Murfreesboro Mosque" to get an idea…or look at all of the elected legislators who regularly demonize people of my faith….pass stupid bills regarding Shariah law…or what not.  See how justice compares for a Muslim accused of a crime compared to a Christian.  Oh wait? A Christian's faith rarely comes up in trial…what was I thinking.

 

Sorry…I find your statement beyond funny.  Need to come out beyond the religious majority bubble.

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This kind of attitude leaves us vulnerable to Big Brother. Just because what I'm doing is considered okay by Big Brother NOW does not mean that it will always be this way. As a Christian I am deeply concerned about the erosion of religious liberty in the U.S. over recent years, and am not hopeful for the future. I pray that I will never see Christianity outlawed during my lifetime, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened eventually.

 

That's interesting. I'm in the U.S. and I wouldn't say that I've seen any erosion of religious liberty at all. What specifically are you talking about? 

 

Between 75% and 80% of Americans identify as Christian, so I don't see how outlawing Christianity would happen. 

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That's interesting. I'm in the U.S. and I wouldn't say that I've seen any erosion of religious liberty at all. What specifically are you talking about? 

 

Between 75% and 80% of Americans identify as Christian, so I don't see how outlawing Christianity would happen. 

 

I find it interesting too.  By comparison, the UK is a much more secular state (despite having a state religion) but I see an embracing of all beliefs rather than an outlawing of Christianity.  That might not be to everyone's taste, but there's no banning going on.

 

L

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I would't have a problem with it.  I sincerely doubt any of us have, or will have, an "enemy" in a high place who will plant DNA at a crime scene.  That's pretty far fetched IMO.  That's pretty conspiracy theorist (again, IMO), and I'm not a fan of that.  

 

I have 2 boys, and I wouldn't care if they were tested.  I don't think they would be presumed guilty, but rather eliminated as a suspect.  Innocent people have nothing to hide.

 

You also need to remember that this is a completely different justice system too.

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On a practical level, the grand majority of those students must have been somewhere else, with reliable alibis at the time of the attack.  Why go through the expense and trouble of DNA testing?  Why not actually DO the footwork necessary for the investigation and narrow down the suspect list to something significantly more reasonable?  If mass DNA testing because the new investigation method, I feel it will bring trouble.

This.

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This kind of attitude leaves us vulnerable to Big Brother. Just because what I'm doing is considered okay by Big Brother NOW does not mean that it will always be this way. As a Christian I am deeply concerned about the erosion of religious liberty in the U.S. over recent years, and am not hopeful for the future. I pray that I will never see Christianity outlawed during my lifetime, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened eventually.

 

There hasn't been an "erosion of religious liberty."  There has been an expansion of protections for all faiths and for atheists.  The fact that Christianity is no longer essentially the state religion is not the same thing as a loss of liberty.

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This kind of attitude leaves us vulnerable to Big Brother. Just because what I'm doing is considered okay by Big Brother NOW does not mean that it will always be this way. As a Christian I am deeply concerned about the erosion of religious liberty in the U.S. over recent years, and am not hopeful for the future. I pray that I will never see Christianity outlawed during my lifetime, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened eventually.

 

This story is from France.  How does that in any way relate to the "erosion" of religious liberty in the US?  Even if the story were in the US, how would that erode religious liberty?  I can maybe see civil liberty, but certainly not religious.  This is a case of law, not religion.  Religion should not dictate laws, just as laws should not dictate religion.

 

Also, can you please explain to me what this erosion of religious liberty is, because I'm not seeing it.  Seems like Christians are doing pretty well to me.  Just because other religions, as well as people who aren't religious, are being given slightly more respect, doesn't erode religious liberty.  In fact, I'd say it's the opposite; things are moving towards more religious liberty, meaning people are free to worship (or not) as they see fit, not as the gov't thinks they should.  As far as Christianity being outlawed, ever, let alone in your life time, well, that just about the most laughable thing I've read in a long time.  The percentage of people who identify themselves as Christians in the US is astronomically high compared to others.  Can you please point to evidence that leads you to believe this could actually happen?  I'd be really interested in reading it.

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