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January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Paul A. Thiessen
Collecting DNA from the Accused
Will it Help or Hurt Law Enforcement?
Last Featured: 7/31/2006

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In recent years over half the states have passed laws that require convicted felons and some convicted of misdemeanors to give DNA samples to law enforcement authorities. As a result, even those convicted of petty crimes such as shoplifting or loitering must give samples just as murderers and arsonists do. But now New York State wants to require all criminals to give DNA samples and other states, such as Kansas and California, want to go even further by sampling people who are arrested, but not necessarily charged with or convicted of a crime. Tune in to this edition of Justice Talking as we ask whether a larger DNA database will help police solve more crimes or increase the likelihood of mistakes and make a mockery of the right to privacy.

Interview with Chauncey Parker
Host Margot Adler speaks with New York State's director of criminal justice about his state's new mandatory DNA collection program.

Chauncey Parker was appointed by Governor Pataki as director of criminal justice on February 5, 2002. As director of criminal justice, Mr. Parker serves as Governor Pataki's senior advisor for criminal justice and oversees New York State's criminal justice agencies – New York State Police, Department of Correctional Services, Division of Parole, Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives, State Commission of Correction, Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the New York State Crime Victims Board. Mr. Parker has received numerous law enforcement awards, including the James Fox Memorial Award from the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation and the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service, the second highest annual honor given by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Interview with David Kaye
Host Margot Adler talks with a law professor about the implications of DNA databases for convicting criminals and for setting wrongly convicted prisoners free.

David H. Kaye is Regents' Professor at the Arizona State University College of Law and a fellow of the Center for the Study of Law, Science and Technology at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. He is also editor of the Jurimetrics Journal. Professor Kaye practiced law in Portland, Oregon and was an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. His publications include 9 books and more than 100 articles and reviews in journals of law, philosophy, medicine, genetics, and statistics. He is widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading experts on scientific evidence and statistical methods in law.

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Debate on the Issue
Innocense Project co-founder Barry Scheck engages DNA lobbyist Chris Asplen in a debate over the use of DNA evidence in prosecutions and its potential to exonerate the wrongfully accused.

Barry Scheck co-founded the Innocence Project with Peter Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In February 2000, Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution, and Other Dispatches From the Wrongly Convicted, written by Peter, Barry, and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Jim Dwyer, was published by Doubleday. This non-fiction book grew out of the cases and stories of the Innocence Project. In 1988, Peter and Barry became involved in studying and litigating issues concerning the use of forensic DNA testing. Their work inspired an influential study by the National Academy of Sciences on forensic DNA testing, as well as important state and federal legislation setting standards for the use of DNA testing. Both serve as members of the New York State's Commission on Forensic Science, a body that regulates all crime and forensic DNA laboratories in the state.

Chris Asplen is vice president for international public affairs at Smith Alling Lane, PS. His expertise in forensic technologies, particularly DNA, makes him a sought after speaker and consultant as well as valuable asset to clients seeking to do business abroad. While an assistant United States Attorney in Washington, Mr. Asplen was appointed the executive director of the United States Attorney General’s National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. As executive director of the Commission, Mr. Asplen worked closely with both Attorneys General Reno and Ashcroft to develop DNA policy for the Department of Justice. Mr. Asplen also has extensive experience training law enforcement investigators and prosecutors about DNA. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, he was the director of the DNA unit of the National District Attorney’s Association where he trained prosecutors and law enforcement officers on the effective use of DNA technology to solve and prosecute crimes.

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Report from North Carolina
Reporter John Blythe relates the case of Darryl Hunt, a man who remained in prison for 10 years after DNA testing first indicated he might be innocent of rape and murder.

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Interview with a Forensic Scientist
Host Margot Adler asks Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky about "the CSI effect" and how fictional depictions of pseudo-science on television alter the public's expectations in real-world cases.

Lawrence Kobilinsky Ph.D. is associate provost of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice for The City University of New York. Dr. Kobilinsky currently serves as science advisor to the college president. He is a member of the doctoral faculties in biochemistry and criminal justice at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York. He has served as a consultant to CBS and other network news programs on issues related to forensic science. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and has received numerous honors including the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Civilian Award. He has published extensively on the subject of forensic DNA analysis, including "DNA: Forensic and Legal Applications."

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Interview with a Futurist
Host Margot Adler speaks with futurist Paul Saffo about DNA databanks, personal privacy and the "brave new world."

Paul Saffo is a forecaster and strategist with over two decades experience exploring long-term technological change and its practical impact on business and society. A director and Roy Amara Fellow at the Institute for The Future, Saffo is chairman of the Samsung Science Board, and serves on a variety of other boards including the Long Now Foundation, as well as the boards of several public and pre-public companies located the United States and abroad. In 2006, he was appointed a consulting associate professor in the Stanford School of Engineering and is also a fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Saffo has served as an advisor and forum fellow to the World Economic Forum.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
National Conference of State Legislatures State Laws on DNA Data Banks
DNA Testing: An Introduction for Non-Scientists
United States Department of Justice: Advancing Justice through DNA
The American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics
The President's DNA Initiative
DNA for Officers of the Court
American Prosecutors Research Institute
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
National Law Enforcement Summit on DNA Technology
Electronic Privacy Information Center
State of New York Division of Criminal Justice Services
Blood Evidence: How DNA is Revolutionizing the Way We Solve Crimes
by Henry Lee, Frank Tirnady
Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA
by Tim Junkin
Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court's 200-Year Struggle to Integrate Science and the Law
by David L. Faigman
The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation
by Ngaire E. Genge
The Right to a Jury Trial
Bail Bondsmen, Bounty Hunters and Private Prisons
Innovations in Policing