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Getting DNA from suspects

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Eugene Posted: Wed, Apr 27 2011 12:20 AM

If there is some evidence that some person commited a serious crime, can a libertarian court demand a DNA sample from that person? I think it should be possible, since obviously if that person did commit the crime, he would refuse to give the sample. But then it would be impossible to prosecute him. If that will be the case I expect too many people going on revenge killings. After all if the court/police can't do their job, the peoplew will.

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Clayton replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 12:36 AM

No, a "libertarian court" - aka a free market arbitrator - could not demand or order anything, especially not the production of incriminating evidence. The defendant may want to offer exonerating evidence, such as his DNA sample, to prove he was not responsible. But no one could ever be induced to produce incriminating evidence beyond what they produce of their own accord. It doesn't even make sense when the whole purpose of going to an arbitrator is to arbitrate an agreement, not incriminate oneself.

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 1:12 AM

In a libertarian society, people are innocent until proven guilty.  In addition, PDA's would not arrest or enforce property rights without evidence beyond whatever is the standard in an anarchist society (probably different standards for different crimes, but who knows).  In this system, the police are not held accountable for many of their crimes.  An example http://articles.cnn.com/2011-04-22/justice/pennsylvania.man.wrongful.imprisonment_1_philadelphia-man-sexual-assault-sexual-predator?_s=PM:CRIME

So, how does my point apply to DNA?  I think there are only 3 ways to acquire DNA, but I may be mistaken:

1) Voluntarily given

2) Acquired, without force, by taking abandoned property that had DNA on it

3) Taken by force

Let's look at the third, because that is your question.  If agents of a PDA were to kidnap someone and take his DNA by force, they would be risking both reputation and punishment for kidnapping and assault.  They would have to be pretty damn sure of the guilt of the accused to take the risk.  If the accused is in fact guilty, then so long as what they did not violate the rights of the accused further than how the accused violated his victim's rights, they are in the clear.  If however, he is innocent, then they would bear the appropriate punishment. 

I don't think courts would ever order DNA to be taken, as they would be third party adjudicators.  PDA's might take DNA by force, but as I just said, they would be bearing a great risk if the accused is innocent.  I think the article I linked to shows whats possible when the police cannot be punished for false imprisonment (they are given a pass on many other crimes too, but they are given a free pass on this one in particular).

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Merlin replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 2:16 AM

I can only add upon the previous answers, that one could be within his full rights as an arbitrator by saying to some suspect: “You either give me DNA samples, or I’ll consider you guilty right now”. I think it would work most of the time.

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I think libertarians are unwise to focus this much on these unlikely scenarios. That's why libertarianism is always considered in it's utmost extreme, which makes it appear a lot less likable. And that's where things get complicated so people can find flaws. If the extreme doesn't work then certainly we couldn't move a few steps in that direction. Statists never let the debate get to that level. They never respond to questions like "what about those people who resist being taxed?". Moderate statists never have to answer for the nasty consequences of extreme statism. And libertarian society are thus always contemplated in these unpleasant examples, while statists keep painting utopia.

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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No, a "libertarian court" - aka a free market arbitrator - could not demand or order anything, especially not the production of incriminating evidence.

That depends on what you mean by "order".

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 2:55 AM

Your premise is flawed.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Eugene:
If there is some evidence that some person commited a serious crime, can a libertarian court demand a DNA sample from that person? I think it should be possible, since obviously if that person did commit the crime, he would refuse to give the sample.

Obviously, only criminals would refuse to give DNA samples.  Its unfathomable that an innocent person would say no for religious, ethical, or privacy reasons.  Why would you say no if you have nothing to hide, right Eugene?

Also, good guys never make mistakes and bad guys always leave DNA samples behind.  They are bad and stupid and don't wear gloves. 

 

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

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MaikU replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 12:13 PM

mikachusetts:

 

Obviously, only criminals would refuse to give DNA samples.

hope it's sarcasm :D

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Clayton replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 12:46 PM

mikachusetts:

Eugene:
If there is some evidence that some person commited a serious crime, can a libertarian court demand a DNA sample from that person? I think it should be possible, since obviously if that person did commit the crime, he would refuse to give the sample.

Obviously, only criminals would refuse to give DNA samples.  Its unfathomable that an innocent person would say no for religious, ethical, or privacy reasons.  Why would you say no if you have nothing to hide, right Eugene?

Also, good guys never make mistakes and bad guys always leave DNA samples behind.  They are bad and stupid and don't wear gloves. 

Yes, and nobody ever frames anybody or plants false evidence to frustrate investigation.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Apr 27 2011 2:09 PM

Caley McKibbin:
Clayton:
No, a "libertarian court" - aka a free market arbitrator - could not demand or order anything, especially not the production of incriminating evidence.

That depends on what you mean by "order".

I agree. If an accused submits to binding arbitration, he might therefore be agreeing to provide DNA and other evidence as requested by the investigation.

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