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EFF Petitions SCOTUS on DNA Dragnet

February 6, 2013 by  

EFF Petitions SCOTUS on DNA Dragnet
PHOTOS.COM

The Electronic Frontier Foundation urged the Supreme Court recently to require law enforcement agencies to get a warrant before forcing individuals to give DNA samples upon being arrested for a crime.

In an amicus brief filed Friday in Maryland v. King – a case which challenges a Maryland mandate that requires all arrestees to submit to DNA sampling whether they end up being convicted of a crime or not — EFF argues that DNA collection is a major intrusion of privacy.

“Your DNA is the roadmap to an extraordinary amount of private information about you and your family,” said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. “It contains data on your current health, your potential for disease, and your family background. For government access to personal information this sensitive, the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant.”

EFF has filed briefs in other cases regarding the practice of collecting DNA from all arrestees, as 27 other States and the Federal government have laws similar to Maryland’s requiring that the DNA of anyone taken into police custody is logged.

“Let’s say you were picked up by police at a political protest and arrested, but then released and never convicted of a crime. Under these laws, your genetic material is held in a law enforcement database, often indefinitely,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. “This is an unconstitutional search and seizure.”

The Court, which has becoming increasingly sensitive to matters involving law enforcement and technology in recent years, will likely hear arguments in Maryland v. King later this month.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Vicki

    Lets see.
    “Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Yep. It’s right there. Secure in their persons. So when an arrest warrant is issued it can have the item to be searched but just arresting someone on the street is not enough to justify a DNA swab.

    • Robert Smith

      From the article: ““Let’s say you were picked up by police at a political protest and arrested, but then released and never convicted of a crime. Under these laws, your genetic material is held in a law enforcement database, often indefinitely,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. “This is an unconstitutional search and seizure.””

      666 all over again. Those on the extreme right want to make sure that the “right” folks are voting and insist upon ID, but when it comes to an ID for crime they go nuts.

      Why is the right against a positive ID when it comes time for THEM to submit to an ID check?

      We want to get violent folks off the streets. If genetics can help track them down why object? “Privacy” wasn’t such an issue in a small town were everyone knew everyone. Looking at faces was enough to know who was who. Brothers often looked alike. A victim could say something like, “That sure looks like ‘em, but it isn’t” Next step is to ask if that man has a brother or other close relative who looks like him. That tradition continues with DNA. It establishes the links to the real perp.

      Rob

      • Jon

        Because as the article stated they are not always arresting violent criminals but even if you did nothing and were picked up and arrested you are still innocent until proven guilty. They are taking DNA before the people are being proven guilty. That is the point here numb skull. As usual, you just want to argue about the right vs left paradigm which really has nothing to do with this article. Go somewhere else.

      • http://www.justiceforraymond.wordpress.com Ray’s Mom

        “666 all over again. Those on the extreme right want to make sure that the “right” folks are voting and insist upon ID, but when it comes to an ID for crime they go nuts.”

        Robert, where is the comparison to an ID to vote that requires no DNA, fingerprint or personal information other than name, address and what political party you care to be part of or, none at all.

        You give the same information for a license to drive an automobile, where is that discrimination or compares to DNA if you are stopped for a traffic violation. You think that is fair?

  • godhelpus

    If you have nothing to hide what is the issue. They have arrested many of violet people because they are aloud to do this. If there were not so many laws in place to help the criminals we wouldn’t have so many murders and rapists on the loose. Forget to cross a t or dot an I and the criminal is set free. Our court system needs a complete overhaul to help the victims not the criminals

    • Gary

      If you have nothing to hide why are the thugs bothering you! Should that not be the issue?

    • ibcamn

      lets say your i great guy(i don’t know you)you don’t run red lights you dont swear you dont even jaywalk!now one day you go get gas and the store you get the gas at is getting robbed,the police come in and all hell breaks loose and they haul in every one for this crime,now your in the police station and one cop looks at you and says,we are going to take a DNA sample from you(it’s procedure to all we bring in),you know you had nothing to do with this robbery,they may even know too,they take it,then they let you go,say sorry,all that.now your in the system,for nothing.now years down the line some domestic bs happens or a disorderly.now when they look for you,they see your in the system!they see it had something to do with a robbery!!AAHHHHH!you are officially fu#$ed!hard!they will never believe a word you say!!too them,your in the system because you are their enemy!!…they should need a warrant for it in any case or matter!

  • Monroe

    Read the amendment fools. Probable cause and a judge to issue a warrent. You want to give the government blanket ability to disregard the constitution? I never cease to be amazed how people so willingly give up their constitutional rights. You do not deserve to be an American!!!

  • TML

    DNA collection after charging but before conviction was unconstitutional, the Maryland Court of Appeals said that its “analysis is influenced by the precept that the government must overcome a presumption that warrantless, suspicionless searches are per se unreasonable….The state bears the burden of overcoming the arrestee’s presumption of innocence and his expectation to be free from biological searches….” http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/07/19/549711/supreme-court-blocks-dna-ruling/

    This is a legitimate case brought forth by wrong doing to Alonzo Jay King Jr., I suspect the SCOTUS will rule it much the same as the Appeals Court.

  • Hopingforbetter

    Of course it is unconstitutional! But since we are now a police state what else can u expect. Duh?
    I used to say well if one has nothing to hide and is just a law abiding American citizen, then nothing to worry about. WRONG! Everything to worry about. People wake up! The United Soviet State of Amerika is HERE! How is this working out for all u dems now with “hope & change”?

  • Hopingforbetter

    Of course it is unconstitutional! But since we are now a police state what else can u expect. Duh?
    I used to say well if one has nothing to hide and is just a law abiding American citizen, then nothing to worry about. WRONG! Everything to worry about. People wake up! The United Soviet State of Amerika is HERE! How is this working out for all u dems now with “hope & change”?

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