New Zealand Law Society - Law Commission discuss 'abandoned DNA' collection in relation to murder trial

Law Commission discuss 'abandoned DNA' collection in relation to murder trial

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Sainey Marong is accused of strangling to death, Christchurch sex-worker, 22-year old Renee Duckmanton in 2016.

The Law Commission says it seems likely that a DNA profile will be an important piece of evidence in the trial.

It says Police obtained the DNA sample of murder suspect Sainey Marong after a Judge issued a search warrant. Police Detectives went undercover as potential homebuyers at his flat’s open home

While there, Police went into Mr Marong’s bedroom and took his comb and cap to get his DNA.

The Law Commissions points out that everyone leaves behind DNA – whether it is hairs on a cap or comb, lipstick on a disposable coffee cup or any number of other ways.

“Your DNA contains vast amounts of information about who you are as a person. As science advances we are able to read more of that information: people’s hair colour, eye colour, age, ethnicity, family relationships and genetic health,” The Commission says.

The issue of abandoned DNA – DNA that people leave lying around is the subject of a short podcast entitled;  “When is your DNA private and when should the police be allowed to collect it without you knowing?

Currently, the Law Commission is reviewing how the police should use DNA to investigate crime and Police collecting and using abandoned DNA is one of the issues we are considering.

“It’s important that we design a law that allows Police to investigate crime and also respects people’s privacy,” The Law Commission says.