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New York court halts family DNA searches for crime suspects

Kimberly Stoddard
Posted at 9:15 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-08 08:40:53-04

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York court is halting the use of a DNA crimefighting tool because state lawmakers never approved the practice.

Familial DNA searching has helped crack cold cases and put murderers behind bars, but also raised concerns about privacy and racial discrimination.

The technique allows law enforcement agencies to search the state’s DNA databank for close biological relatives of people who have left traces of genetic material at a crime scene.

A panel of judges on a mid-level appeals court made the ruling Thursday, citing concerns about government separation of powers.

The state agency that authorized the technique is reviewing the decision to determine its next steps.