POWER OF FORENSIC DNA DATABASES TO SOLVE CRIMES

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Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs (GTH-GA) has awarded the inaugural DNA Database Hit of the Year award to the Italian Carabinieri and Polizia di Stato for its dedicated work on the Yara Gambirasio murder case. The winning case was selected from 50 cases submitted by 15 countries, and was chosen by a panel of seven international judges with career backgrounds in forensic DNA. The award was announced during the annual Human Identification Solutions (HIDS) Conference held in Vienna, Austria.

“The DNA Hit of the Year Award is designed to bring increased awareness to the incredible power of forensic DNA databases to solve crime and provide closure to victims and their families. It also recognizes the dedication of investigators and forensic scientists throughout the world who use DNA databases to pursue justice,” said Tim Schellberg, GTH-GA’s President. The judges selected the Italian case from five finalist cases. The four runner-up cases were from China, Austria, and two from the United States. 

Yara Gambirasio (of Brembate di Sopra, Italy) was murdered on November 26, 2010. To identify the suspect, whose full DNA profile was found at the crime scene, Italian authorities developed the world’s largest known DNA mass screen database. Using this tool, investigators and analysts embarked on a complex and exhaustive familial DNA searching scenario that ultimately led to an arrest on June 14, 2015. The suspect was convicted on July 1, 2016. “I have never seen a case where so much effort was put into finding a suspect through the use of DNA. The men and women of the Italian Carabinieri and the Polizia di Stato should be commended for their tireless work to identify the person that matched the DNA left at the crime scene,” said Rock Harmon, Retired Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Alameda County, California (USA), and one of the judges for the 2017 Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs Hit of the Year Award.

Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs is globally recognized as experts in forensic DNA database policy, legislative, and law. For nearly twenty years, consultants at GTH-GA have consulted in over 50 countries and states on legislation and policies to establish or expand criminal offender DNA databases.

Government is the #1 mafia.  Most people are victims of police and government. Citizens seem to be under the impression that the police help them recover stolen property, and that we’ll all appreciate the police if we’re ever a victim of property crime. Everyone who has ever owned a small business or otherwise been burgled, however, knows that when you are a victim of property crime, calling the police is a mere formality in which a police report is filed, and then sent to the insurance company. You will never see your property again, and you know it, but the police report is necessary for insurance purposes. If it weren’t for the insurance side of things, calling the police would be a complete waste of time.

Actually finding your stolen property is a very low-priority affair for the police. There’s nothing in it for them, since there is no connection between successfully protecting private property and the amount of revenue that the police department earns. From a budgetary standpoint, it is far more important for the police to simply assert that they protect property to politicians and, to a lesser extent, to voters. Whether they actually do it is immaterial, since those who are victims of crime have virtually zero say over whether or not the police should be rewarded for their services, or lack thereof.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that police departments receive their funding not through voluntary exchange, but through taxation, which is the coercive redistribution of wealth. Rarely are police budgets ever cut, regardless of the quality of service, and should voters or local government ever suggest that the budget might be cut, the police agencies will immediately respond by threatening to cut enforcement, and it is of course implied that enforcement of laws against violent crime will be cut immediately. Never do the police say “well we’ll just have to cut back on shutting down illegal lemonade stands set up by children, or enforcement of lawn-mowing ordinances and no-knock raids against old ladies.” No, it’s always night time patrols for real criminals that goes under the ax first.

Police respond by cutting the most-demanded services first, and the least-demanded services never seem to get cuts. Naturally, the police would never dream of cutting back on drug enforcement, because that is a major source of revenue for them.

Part of this stems from the error of viewing all police services as more or less equal.  There is a big difference between the value of police services which involve the investigation of murders, and police services that involve arresting people for jaywalking.

There are infinite degrees of all sorts of protection. For any given person or business, the police can provide everything from a policeman on the beat who patrols once a night, to two policemen patrolling constantly on each block, to cruising patrol cars, to one or even several round-the-clock personal bodyguards. Furthermore, there are many other decisions the police must make, the complexity of which becomes evident as soon as we look beneath the veil of the myth of absolute protection. How shall the police allocate their funds which are, of course, always limited as are the funds of all other individuals, organizations, and agencies? How much shall the police invest in electronic equipment? fingerprinting equipment? detectives as against uniformed police? patrol cars as against foot police, etc.?

The government has no rational way to make these allocations. The government only knows that it has a limited budget. Its allocations of funds are then subject to the full play of politics, boondoggling, and bureaucratic inefficiency, with no indication at all as to whether the police department is serving the consumers in a way responsive to their desires or whether it is doing so efficiently.

The situation would be different if police services were supplied on a free, competitive market. In that case, consumers would pay for whatever degree of protection they wish to purchase. The consumers who just want to see a policeman once in a while would pay less than those who want continuous patrolling, and far less than those who demand twenty-four-hour bodyguard service.

On the free market, protection would be supplied in proportion and in whatever way that the consumers wish to pay for it. A drive for efficiency would be insured, as it always is on the market, by the compulsion to make profits and avoid losses, and thereby to keep costs low and to serve the highest demands of the consumers. Any police firm that suffers from gross inefficiency would soon go bankrupt and disappear.

But of course, police don’t have to worry about supplying what citizens actually want. They have access to the taxpayer’s wallet. The policemen are not protecting private property, but are more interested in protecting police and making a show of force. Private property owners have to protect their own property with their own privately-owned firearms, even after being taxed year after year in exorbitant amounts for police services.

The police have no rational method of allocating resources.  Priorities are set by politics. The police, instead of attending to property crime, are busy pulling guns on people who jaywalk.

Police departments are being armed to the teeth via funds paid for by taxpayers.  Will these extremely-expensive weapons be used to protect people from violent crime? Anything is possible, although the fact that small town police forces now have a variety of armored vehicles and mountains of assault rifles, makes one wonder how that money might have been better spent were the private sector allowed to keep it.

With 39 percent of murders unsolved every year, but with SWAT teams being used to deliver warrants to nonviolent suspects, and people who smoke joints on occasion,  it’s obvious that there is a disconnect between a priorities list that serves police departments, and one that serves taxpayers. As is always the case, there’s plenty of talk about reform and accountability, but the only reform that matters is one that involves major budget cuts to departments that don’t enforce laws that actually matter.

Taxpayers should be able to check boxes on their tax returns saying which government departments should receive money. It would be a good idea to also include a checklist for which laws should be enforced. Virtually everyone would check laws against murder and robbery. Far fewer people would demand the enforcement of laws against adults smoking pot at home or sale of untaxed cigarettes. Then, when the budget is cut, police must stop enforcing laws with the fewest votes.

Police are not efficient because they don’t rely on customers’ voluntary support. They aren’t held accountable because they face no serious threat of losing power. They are abusive because citizens have two choices: Obey or suffer the punishment. They are militarized because they don’t operate on the profit and loss mechanism of the freed market and have an endless trough of stolen taxpayer money to waste.

If the police monopoly was broken up, the police as we know them would no longer exist. Private defense agencies, communal associations, neighborhood watch groups and mutual aid societies would take the place of state “defense.” While they would serve the end of protecting citizens, like the police claim to do, these organizations would likely look far different from modern local police forces.

Police forces are insulated from competition, market feedback, the price mechanism and the profit-loss system. As monopolies, they come with incentives to overspend, overcharge, under-produce, and generally work in opposition to the consumers’ interests and in favor of their own.

But firms and organizations that spontaneously arise on a freed market out of voluntary exchange are subject to market forces every step of the way. They must serve the consumers’ interests – they must produce a worthwhile product at an affordable cost or be crushed by competition. Being in the business of defense, they must minimize costly, violent conflict and pursue cheaper, peaceful solutions or else be out-competed by other organizations that better serve their customer’s interests.

Since these organizations would be at constant risk of losing business to competition, unlike the police, their methods and tactics would be completely different. They would have to respect their customers’ rights if they ever want their business. The agencies that better protect rights would be the most profitable and the ones that violate peoples’ rights would be quickly pushed out of the market.

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