Criminal Identification Procedures in the Twenty-first Century

Technology has changed the overall life style of human being in the 21st century. Technology has affected the society in several ways the procedures of living, the changing diets and the patterns of communication are few of them. The impact of technology has been on every department of society including the judiciary system. Crime has been an important part of our society, their have been many cases in the past where huge amounts of money is spend to identify the criminal of a crime. Then there have been the innocent who have received punishments even though they were innocent.

Technology that has hoped in identifying criminals Thus scientists have developed or invented several technological equipments that have been very helpful in identifying criminals. These technologies have proved to be very helpful to the law enforcement agencies. Now law enforcement agencies can be surer that the person being suspected has actually committed a crime while the cost of investigation has been reduced. Some of the commonly used devices of the 21st century by the law enforcement agencies include; the DNA tests.

The material inside the nucleus of cells that carries genetic information is known as a DNA every human being has a unique DNA. (DNA Topoisomerase Protocols) Thus DNA test have proved to be very helpful in many ways, DNA has even helped in identifying whether a suspect is actually guilt of crime or not DNA can be useful in relation to crime in 3 different ways. The first use of DNA in post conviction cases in which the already convicted are tested, hence in this situation DNA helps in to free the innocent. The second is the collection of DNA from suspects or arrestees in cases to determine if they are guilty of crime or not.

The third situation in which DNA is useful is to increase the collection of DNA from a wider and wider band of felons and misdemeanants in the post conviction period, so that there is a record of their DNA profile. Then there is palm and finger print checking devices, finger prints have always been an important clue in a crime. Hence digital technologies of the 21st century have been modified and invented which enable law enforcement agencies to accumulate aggregates of identification data to an extent far beyond what was possible with traditional ink-based fingerprint systems.

There are advanced visual technologies such as Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems which helps in the collection, storage and use of fingerprint data on a seemingly limitless number of bodies. Then there are new media technologies and their use in programs such as “US-VISIT does not merely enhance the communications capabilities of the state; rather, they reflect a restructuring of law enforcement and surveillance practices based on the aggregate collection of identification data” (Photographing Fingerprints: Data Collection and State Surveillance).

These technologies not only help in collection of data but are very helpful in identifying criminals previously getting finger or palm prints from a burned, bruised body was impossible. Matching finger prints was time consuming while now pressing few buttons can give accurate result in a matter of few seconds. Then there are other kinds of biometric technologies invented to identify criminals that include facial recognition, retinal iris scans, brain printing, ear matching, and smart cards. Then there are other kinds of technological advancements developed in order to identify criminals.

Which include carbon dioxide detectors (CO2 wands) used to indicate whether human beings are concealed in vehicles? Then there are x-ray, ultrasound scanners used, automatic number plate readers, closed circuit television (CCTV), and hand-held infra-red cameras. Basically there has been development in technology beyond imagination. Advantages and Disadvantages There are several advantages of technological advancements amongst which the benefit of strong evidences against criminals holds the highest place. Now law enforcement agencies like police and courts can be certain about the suspect being guilty or not.

Through technology we can save a number of people an example of this can be “In early 2000 the New York City Police Department freed more than 140 wrongly convicted prisoners, some of whom were on death row, and others who served decades for rapes they did not commit” (Selective Arrests, an Ever-Expanding DNA Forensic Database, and the Specter of an Early -Twenty-First-Century Equivalent of Phrenology). Then there is time which is another benefit of a lot of time can be saved of the law enforcement agencies through technology.

The data base collected through biometric technology can be very helpful to check records of millions of people in situations were there is no prove against a suspect. Then there are the mobile laboratories and equipments like scanners which save a lot of time of the police. Infrared cameras videos or image also help as a proof against suspects. Biometrics Along with advantages there are disadvantages of identification technology the biggest disadvantage is in the biometric identification systems.

Some of the biometric features are not hundred percent secure an example of this can be the facial recognition, 2D recognition is affected by changes in lighting, the person’s hair, the age, and if the person wear glasses. Then there are the equipment costs which have been quite high as the technology is developing at a rapid speed and every time a new development is made the cost installation of equipments is very high. (Challenges and Choices for Crime-Fighting Technology: Federal Support of State and Local Law) By Brian Anthony Jackson, Lois M.

Davis, William Schwab Another important disadvantage can be the stigmas attached or the social problems technology creates. To simplify this disadvantage would suggest the example of retinal recognition there is a social stigma that this kind of recognition is harmful to the eye. As far as social imbalance is considered taking keeping records or maintaining databases can create identity crises. An example of this can be that when we compare a DNA sample and try and make linkage with the genetic father or grandfather who was a criminal.

We tend to make a judgment about that person and thus we judge his actions accordingly creating the issue of biasness. Constitutional Rights of Accused The Due process model is a policy designed on the constitutional rights of the accused according to which “a fair trial, the presumption of the innocence until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt” (The American Dictionary of Criminal Justice: Key Terms and Major Court Cases). According to this policy the suspect cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards.

Technology has lead o a major impact on the constitutional rights amongst which now the accused if being judge as guilt has given no right. There are no hearings by the court and hence the reasons of the action or the situation in which the act was committed can not be interoperated. Then there are the labels, even after completing the punishment the criminal is still under observation and is suspected as a criminal by the law enforcement agency at every unsolved crime. Hence intruding in the privacy of the individual which is a right of every individual.

Impact of Advancements on Efficiency of Law Enforcement Agencies Technology has had a huge impact on the efficiency of law enforcement agencies the crime control model for law enforcement is based on the assumption of absolute reliability of police fact-finding, treats arrestees as if they are already found guilty. (The American System of Criminal Justice) Thus the technological advancements have helped in the efficiency of law enforcement agencies as biometric technology has reached a place were it gives 99% accurate results if the suspect is guilty or not.

While cameras have helped in providing authentic proves. Hence the law enforcement agencies efficiency has increased as if a person found guilt is immediately prosecuted without having a trial in a court. While the time to evaluate that if a person is guilty or not is even reduced, as technology helps in evaluation in a matter of seconds. Conclusion According to my analysis, I will support technological advancements as they have proved to be very useful by the law enforcement agencies. There have been several cases were the innocent is let free due to these technologies while the guilty is prosecuted.

Hence my recommendation to the law enforcement agencies would be that they should use technology if affordable and should definitely rely on them. As the results derived by these technologies are very precise and accurate. References Biometrics – Advantages and disadvantages of technologies http://biometrics. pbwiki. com/Advantages%20and%20disadvantages%20of%20technologies Accessed May 29, 2007 Brian Anthony Jackson, Lois M. Davis, William Schwabe, Challenges and Choices for Crime-Fighting Technology: Federal Support of State and Local Law, The rand corporation, 2001

Dean John Champion, The American Dictionary of Criminal Justice: Key Terms and Major Court Cases, Scarecrow Press, 2004 George F. Cole, Christopher E. Smith, The American System of Criminal Justice, Thomson Wadsworth, 2004 Joel Samaha, Criminal Law, Thomson Wadsworth, 2005 Jonathan Finn1, Photographing Fingerprints: Data Collection and State Surveillance, 2005 Neil Osherhoff, Mary-Ann Bjornsti. DNA Topoisomerase Protocols, Humana press, 1999 Troy Duster, Selective Arrests, an Ever-Expanding DNA Forensic Database, and the Specter of an Early -Twenty-First-Century Equivalent of Phrenology, (n. d. )