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DNA Dystopia: Privacy Rights in the Age of Genetic Surveillance

Total Credits
1 - 2
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This course was prepared in conjunction with the National Association for Public Defense. By viewing this CLE by I am affirming that today I am neither a prosecutor nor viewing this course with the purpose of aiding the prosecution of any criminally accused. I further affirm that I am dedicated to the ideals of the criminal defense practitioner, and am committed to the causes of effective and zealous defense of those charged with crimes, the protection and assertion of constitutional rights afforded the criminally accused, and the recognition and preservation of human dignity of those charged with crimes. I further affirm that the information provided by this course will not be used by me in any manner which would impugn the above set of ideals.

This CLE program will focus on helping your client navigate the landscape of DNA dystopia. As genetic surveillance and obtainable information expands, so do threats to privacy. Learn about DNA collection of minors; expansion of rogue databases; spread of Rapid DNA; the mining of genealogical databases by law enforcement; the linking of forensic databases with genealogical ones and how these might pose a threat to your client and their case. Attend this session and learn tools and strategies to fight these threats to your clients' privacy rights in the age of genetic surveillance.

Lecturer Bios

Terri S. Rosenblatt, Esq.

Terri Rosenblatt is the Supervising Attorney in the DNA Unit of the Legal Aid Society. She also chairs the Criminal Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Prior to joining the DNA Unit, Terri was a partner in the Law Offices of Joel Rudin where she litigated civil rights cases and post-conviction cases involving prosecutorial misconduct, as well as trial cases involving forensic evidence. Terri was also a DNA litigation specialist and trial attorney at the Bronx Defenders, where she successfully litigated hearings on access to electronic raw data and the Confrontation Clause. In 2016, Terri was part of the team that successfully challenged the admissibility of STRmix evidence in a St. Lawrence County homicide case. Terri’s current work is focused on advocating for fairness in forensics, including commenting in national media on genetic privacy and DNA databanks, and presenting at national conferences on laboratory communication and unbiased testing protocols. Terri graduated from Smith College and received her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Jessica W. Goldthwaite, Esq.

Jessica Goldthwaite is a staff attorney with the DNA Unit of the Legal Aid Society in New York City since 2013, where she assists, trains, and educates criminal defense attorneys and clients in DNA matters, and advocates for forensic DNA-related reforms and policy initiatives.

Jessica led the team which successfully challenged the admissibility of evidence produced by low copy number DNA testing and the Forensic Statistical Tool, a likelihood ratio software program in People v. Collins, 49 Misc.3d 595 (Sup.Ct. Kings Co. 2015) (Dwyer, J.). Jessica was also a member of the DNA team which successfully litigated the admissibility of STRMix results in People v. Hillary, a case where different probabilistic genotyping programs reached different results.

She is currently a member of the DNA Consensus Body of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Standards Board. Before joining the DNA Unit, Jessica was a staff attorney in the Brooklyn trial office of Legal Aid for seven years. Jessica is the 2014 recipient of the NYSBA Criminal Justice Section’s Michele S. Maxian Award for Outstanding Public Defense Practitioner.

She graduated from Columbia University (B.A. and M.A.), and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.

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