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Nelson Education > School > Business Studies > All About Law > Student Centre > E-Activies > Chapter 7

Unit 2: Criminal Law


E-ACTIVITY: DNA (p. 203)

Activity: Give a Group Presentation on a DNA Issue

In recent years, DNA evidence has been used on both sides of the law, either to incriminate a suspect or to prove that he or she could not possibly have committed the crime. Forensic DNA has been used not only in recent cases, but also in cases that are decades old. Occasionally DNA evidence has played a crucial role in clearing wrongfully convicted individuals. What is the history of DNA as a tool in the courtroom? How is DNA evidence technology being used in Canada today?

In this activity, you will prepare a group presentation about a DNA issue.

1. Begin by visiting the Web site of the National DNA Data Ban. Read the "Welcome" address on the home page and consider the following topics. Click on the appropriate icon in the sidebar at the left of the main page to access information on each topic.

  • The origins and purpose of the National DNA Data Bank (using the "Welcome" address on the home page)

  • Forensic History of DNA (under "History")

  • History of DNA Legislation in Canada (under "History")

  • Privacy and Security

  • Duty to Inform Checklists (under "Training")

  • Birth of DNA Evidence (under "Real Cases")

  • A Nine-year-old Unsolved Murder (under "Real Cases")

  • The First Canadian Conviction with DNA Evidence (under "Real Cases")

  • Statistics on the DNA Data Bank (under "Stats")

  • Technology

2. In groups of three, select one of the possible areas of research listed above and prepare a group presentation on the topic indicated. Each student is responsible for research notes on one aspect of the topic and for presenting the material in an oral presentation in class.

3. As an extension of your research, visit the Web site of the Solicitor General for Canada and summarize the main points of a press release on the new DNA Data Bank.

4. Under the Technology link at the National DNA Data Bank Web site , click on "Canada's Data Bank Need Addressed: The RCMP Bank on Crime Fighting Success," which appears at the end of the file, to download the PDF file of this article about the data bank. Summarize key points of interest about the use of DNA in fighting crime.