back to article Scotland reviews forensic data rules

A review will examine procedures for retaining the forensic data of those accused of sexual or violent offences in Scotland. Professor James Fraser, head of Strathclyde University's Centre for Forensic Science, will examine the way police use forensic science to fight crime. Under Scotland's current system police must destroy …

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Anonymous Coward

Define 'innocent'

"Our government has already made clear that we do not support the blanket retention of all forensic information taken from innocent people,".

I call bullshit, you changed the definition of 'innocent' to exclude people arrested for violent or sexual crime even if they were found innocent by a court. Sexual crime is nothing but an allegation without a conviction, how can it be a violent 'crime' if they didn't do it?

Isn't that how is starts, you play with the definition of 'innocent', then once you're keeping some innocent peoples DNA, how can you justify not keeping other people's and pretty soon you're treating 'arrested' as synonymous with 'convicted' and keeping DNA for anyone who has ever dealt with the police.

Slippery slope.

Then some judge comes along, realizes a problem, the DNA is being used to prefilter for crimes, and so can only work if *everyone*'s DNA is recorded from birth, every tourist, every illegal immigrant, everyone, in order to reduce miscarriages of justice that result from the prefiltering.

Then the policy of only keeping samples for guilty people becomes DNA and fingerprinting from birth, and taking fingerprint and DNA samples of visiting tourists, and random sampling of people's identity to catch illegal immigrants,

'Innocent'? , you have to restore the definition of innocent to the court decision. The court knows best, it's the impartial review of the evidence, not the partial view of the arresting officer.

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Anonymous Coward

innocent?

I was under the impression that the term was meaningless in the court system: one might be found not guilty, but since the burden of proof of guilt is 'beyond reasonable doubt' that is a long way from being innocent. And IIRC the Scottish system adds a 'not proven' verdict, again far from innocent.

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Anonymous Coward

Fairly guilty

"I was under the impression that the term was meaningless in the court system: one might be found not guilty, but since the burden of proof of guilt is 'beyond reasonable doubt' that is a long way from being innocent."

Bullshit, when a person is taken to court a full set of charges is brought, including many more minor charges. The charge sheet for a typical convict runs from the major crime they'd like a conviction on, with a bunch of fall back charges right down to the minor.

For a person to be innocent for the purposes of having a clean record, they have to have to be innocent of ALL the charges, even the lesser ones.

They're not 'a little bit guilty', or 'slightly guilty' or 'innocent but maybe guilty',

they're 'INNOCENT OF ALL CHARGES'.

Now the Scottish git has decided the court that saw the evidence and interviewed the witnesses is wrong. He throws out thousands of years of legal tradition, and replaces it with 'there's no smoke without fire'.

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Slippery slope...

I don't like the sound of this. The minute you start justifying retaining biometric data on one group of people, you can start to justify holding it on just about any group of people.

Convicted criminals, sure - we've always kept details on criminals on record; But to retain data on people not actually convicted of any crime, is beyond the pale in regards to protecting freedom and liberty.

I expected better from Alex Salmond. Well, better than old Jack boy anyway...

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Hold on

I'll just get my saw and hack off that bit the other side of Hadrian's Wall so it can float away - free, serene, and no longer a vestigial but unsightly appendix to this Green and Pleasante Land. You may want to bundle a few items over the Wall before I'm thru.

My top hat, please.

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