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Supreme Court rules it is legal to cheek swab anyone who is arrested. Like fingerprinting. Options · View
lafayettemister
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2013 10:44:01 AM

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Joined: 10/4/2010
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Location: Alabama, United States
No different than fingerprinting or photographing?

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can routinely take DNA from people they arrest, equating a DNA cheek swab to other common jailhouse procedures like fingerprinting.

"Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court's five-justice majority.

But the four dissenting justices said that the court was allowing a major change in police powers.

"Make no mistake about it: because of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason," conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said in a sharp dissent which he read aloud in the courtroom. "This will solve some extra crimes, to be sure. But so would taking your DNA when you fly on an airplane — surely the TSA must know the 'identity' of the flying public. For that matter, so would taking your children's DNA when they start public school."

Twenty-eight states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. But a Maryland court was one of the first to say that it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King's DNA without approval from a judge, saying King had "a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches" under the Fourth Amendment.

But the high court's decision reverses that ruling and reinstates King's rape conviction, which came after police took his DNA during an unrelated arrest. Kennedy wrote the decision, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Scalia was joined in his dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Maryland's DNA collection law only allows police to take DNA from those arrested for serious crimes like murder, rape, assault, burglary and other crimes of violence. In his ruling, Kennedy did not say whether the court's decision limits DNA only to those crimes, but he did note that other states' DNA collection laws differ from Maryland's.
Scalia saw that as a flaw. "If you believe that a DNA search will identify someone arrested for bank robbery, you must believe that it will identify someone arrested for running a red light," he said.

Getting DNA swabs from criminals is common. All 50 states and the federal government take cheek swabs from convicted criminals to check against federal and state databanks, with the court's blessing. The fight at the Supreme Court was over whether that DNA collection could come before conviction and without a judge issuing a warrant.

According to court documents, the FBI's Combined DNA Index System or CODIS — a coordinated system of federal, state and local databases of DNA profiles — already contains more than 10 million criminal profiles and 1.1 million profiles of those arrested.

Kennedy called collecting DNA useful for police in identifying individuals.

"The use of DNA for identification is no different than matching an arrestee's face to a wanted poster of a previously unidentified suspect; or matching tattoos to known gang symbols to reveal a criminal affiliation; or matching the arrestee's fingerprints to those recovered from a crime scene," Kennedy said. "DNA is another metric of identification used to connect the arrestee with his or her public persona, as reflected in records of his or her actions that are available to police."

In the case before the court, a 53-year-old woman was raped and robbed but no one was arrested. Almost six years later, Alonzo King was arrested and charged with felony second-degree assault. Taking advantage of the Maryland law that allowed warrantless DNA tests following some felony arrests, police took a cheek swab of King's DNA, which matched a sample from the 2003 Salisbury rape. King was convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison.

King eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault from his arrest, a crime for which Maryland cannot take warrantless DNA samples. The state courts said it violated King's rights for the state to take his DNA based on an arrest alone. The state Court of Appeals said King had "a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches." But the high court's decision reinstates King's conviction.

Maryland stopped collecting DNA after that decision, but Roberts allowed police to keep collecting DNA samples pending the high court's review.

The case is Maryland v. King, 12-207.

========================

It was good in this particular case, but should anyone who is arrested for anything have to submit to DNA swabbing?





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Magical_felix
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2013 11:25:40 AM

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Who cares really



Dani
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2013 11:58:14 AM

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I really don't see the big deal.



Baby put your arms around me, tell me I'm a problem...

Ruthie
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2013 12:26:43 PM

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Location: United States
slipperywhenwet2012 wrote:
I really don't see the big deal.


"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." U. S. Constitution.

Taking a DNA test on arrest, according to the dissent, is a violation of the constitutional protection against self incrimination, and taking someone's DNA on arrest seems to me to be ignoring due process. You can't have your house searched without a warrant, and your body is at least as important as your house. If there is sufficient cause to take a person's DNA the arresting officers should be able to get a court order.

When a crime is committed, the police aren't allowed to just search houses at random. They can't just round up people and force them to testify against themselves. Requiring sufficient cause for a warrant is important because it stops the government from just randomly seizing people and searching them or their property.

Precedents are important in court cases. The important thing probably isn't the DNA test, it's the precedent this case will set.

Magical_felix
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2013 12:37:33 PM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
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Location: California
CoopsRuthie wrote:




When a crime is committed, the police aren't allowed to just search houses at random. They can't just round up people and force them to testify against themselves. Requiring sufficient cause for a warrant is important because it stops the government from just randomly seizing people and searching them or their property.




LOL but they do that shit anyway... They don't need a warrant. I've had my car searched for no reason by the police. I mean the reason was that I was suspicious I guess. They have also come into my house to sniff around just because I opened the door. It's bullshit.

And what is the difference in them taking your fingerprints or a DNA swab? There really isn't one except that the DNA swab is probably more useful. So if some guy got away with murder and can't be tried again then so what, at least the DNA will prove it was him and the police can let the case die instead of chasing a ghost wasting everyone's time and money. But at least his DNA sample will be on record in case he does it again or rapes someone. And don't some rights go out the window once you're arrested? I mean you're in custody. Like say during a trial, you're not allowed to sit there yelling about your rights or calling the judge a dick, for example.... Wouldn't you be held in contempt of court or some shit? What about your free speech?



Rembacher
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2013 12:51:44 PM

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Joined: 10/16/2008
Posts: 1,106
CoopsRuthie wrote:

Taking a DNA test on arrest, according to the dissent, is a violation of the constitutional protection against self incrimination, and taking someone's DNA on arrest seems to me to be ignoring due process. You can't have your house searched without a warrant, and your body is at least as important as your house. If there is sufficient cause to take a person's DNA the arresting officers should be able to get a court order.

When a crime is committed, the police aren't allowed to just search houses at random. They can't just round up people and force them to testify against themselves. Requiring sufficient cause for a warrant is important because it stops the government from just randomly seizing people and searching them or their property.

Precedents are important in court cases. The important thing probably isn't the DNA test, it's the precedent this case will set.



How is that different than fingerprinting? If using a fingerprint database is not considered a random search, why would a DNA database be? As for collecting DNA from those who are not yet convicted, again, if it's ok to do so for fingerprints, why not DNA? Each is a unique signature which identifies you.

As long as the DNA never gets into the hands of American corporations who somehow have the right to patent human DNA, I'm ok with the police collecting it at the same time as finger prints.

That being said, unless you are on a tv series, DNA evidence solves a very limited amount of crimes. Prosecutors are continually frustrated by juries who expect that every case will have some DNA evidence to make it a slam dunk. But it just doesn't happen that way in real life. It works for rape, and maybe some assaults. But not really for much else.
Ruthie
Posted: Monday, June 03, 2013 1:00:48 PM

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Joined: 10/21/2010
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Location: United States
Rembacher wrote:


How is that different than fingerprinting? If using a fingerprint database is not considered a random search, why would a DNA database be? As for collecting DNA from those who are not yet convicted, again, if it's ok to do so for fingerprints, why not DNA? Each is a unique signature which identifies you.

As long as the DNA never gets into the hands of American corporations who somehow have the right to patent human DNA, I'm ok with the police collecting it at the same time as finger prints.

That being said, unless you are on a tv series, DNA evidence solves a very limited amount of crimes. Prosecutors are continually frustrated by juries who expect that every case will have some DNA evidence to make it a slam dunk. But it just doesn't happen that way in real life. It works for rape, and maybe some assaults. But not really for much else.


It being OK to use fingerprints of person's is your opinion, and, I suppose most of society and the courts. It isn't my opinion.
Lustyrose4u
Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013 4:31:35 PM

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Joined: 4/6/2013
Posts: 362
Location: Long Island, United States
Only criminals and the ultra left "liberals" have a problem with this. What is the big deal?

"When its too kinky for everybody else, its just gettin' good for me."
(Kinky Freedman)
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