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Police DNA Collection Sparks Questions


— March 18, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – When a 60-year-old man spat on the sidewalk, his DNA became as public as if he had been advertising it across his chest.

Police officers secretly following Leon Chatt last August collected the saliva – loaded with Chatt’s unique genetic makeup – to compare with DNA evidence from the scene of an old murder they believed he’d committed.

On Feb. 1, Chatt was charged in one of Buffalo’s oldest unsolved cases, the 1974 rape and stabbing of his wife’s stepsister, Barbara Lloyd.

While secretly collecting a suspect’s DNA may be an unorthodox approach to solving crimes, prosecutors say it crosses no legal boundaries – that when someone leaves their DNA in a public place via flakes of skin, strands of hair or saliva, for example, they give up any expectation of privacy.

But the practice has raised questions from Washington state to Florida, where similar collections are under scrutiny.

Details here from the AP via My Way News.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – When a 60-year-old man spat on the sidewalk, his DNA became as public as if he had been advertising it across his chest.

Police officers secretly following Leon Chatt last August collected the saliva – loaded with Chatt’s unique genetic makeup – to compare with DNA evidence from the scene of an old murder they believed he’d committed.

On Feb. 1, Chatt was charged in one of Buffalo’s oldest unsolved cases, the 1974 rape and stabbing of his wife’s stepsister, Barbara Lloyd.

While secretly collecting a suspect’s DNA may be an unorthodox approach to solving crimes, prosecutors say it crosses no legal boundaries – that when someone leaves their DNA in a public place via flakes of skin, strands of hair or saliva, for example, they give up any expectation of privacy.

But the practice has raised questions from Washington state to Florida, where similar collections are under scrutiny.

Details here from the AP via My Way News.

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