DNA, Crime and Law Enforcement

Civil rights meets biotechnology in a instructional activity that scrutinizes the collection of DNA of citizens who have been arrested, but not yet convicted of a crime. Real-life cases are examined in which the DNA of a relative was used to identify a criminal, a law enforcement search went on unnecessarily due to a contaminated DNA sample, and a man wrongfully imprisoned for 19 years was exonerated via DNA analysis. Use this instructional activity to spur a passionate bioethics debate.

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CCSS: Designed
Classroom Considerations
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Current articles, a slide show, and a video effectively set the stage for class discussion
  • Meets Common Core State Standards for high school literacy in history and social studies
  • Lesson plan is written in detail for ease of implementation
  • None