DNA, Up for Sampling

The U.S. Supreme Court issues a major Fourth Amendment ruling.

, The National Law Journal

   | 3 Comments

Police sampling of the DNA of individuals arrested in connection with serious crimes may become as routine as fingerprinting and photographing as the result of a major Fourth Amendment ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last week.

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What's being said

  • QJ

    It's easy to argue that a swab of the side of a person's mouth is not invasive, however, that argument seems to miss the most invasive factor--a person being forced to relinquish their genetic identification to anyone, the local police, the state or the federal government is an extreme invasion. Can you imagine being pulled over for a traffic violation and then being forced to submit your DNA? I've been stopped by an officer while walking into Walmart early one Sunday morning and was asked my name. I didn't even want to answer that (He was supposedly looking for a suspect). Suppose he would have demanded a DNA sample?! Does that seem too far fetched given this Supreme Court decision?

  • ljyoung

    A critical question is what happens to a given DNA data set when the individual from whom it originated is found to be not guilty.

  • Bernard Chanin

    Given the indisputable value of DNA in the solution of violent crimes, it is hard to accept the debasement of liberty argument. All political decisions are compromises of one sort or another. The counterargument is largely abstract given the minimal intrusion involved in obtaining the DNA sample, less intrusion in one's lives than in providing information to the state to obtain a driver's license. The value of removing violent predators off the streets trumps ideological conviction.

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