Skip to comments.Supreme Court upholds DNA swabbing of people under arrest
Posted on 06/03/2013 7:41:56 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the police practice of taking DNA samples from people who have been arrested for a serious offense but not convicted of a crime, ruling that it amounts to the 21st century version of fingerprinting.
The ruling was 5-4. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, joined three of the courts more liberal members Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in dissenting.
The five justices in the majority ruled that DNA sampling, after an arrest for a serious offense and when officers bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, does not violate the Fourth Amendments prohibition of unreasonable searches.
At an oral argument in February, Justice Samuel Alito called the question perhaps the most important criminal procedure case the court had taken up in decades.
(Excerpt) Read more at usnews.nbcnews.com ...
“for a serious offense”
Be prepared to interpret this down to jaywalking over the next few years.
Another article on the SCOTUS decision on DNA testing.
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Every dirty cop will be abusing this ruling soon. As if the police being able to lie obtain information wasn’t bad enough.
Add another group the anti-Constitutional crowd.
The 5 no doubt feared some perp getting sprung only to discover years later he was guilty of 25 rapes.
Breyer’s position shifting after being the victim of a home invasion?
Pretty difficult to argue with. If there was a constitutional issue here, it should have been made when fingerprinting became prevalent.
DNA can be used for some additional somewhat unsavory purposes, but simply for ID it is very similar to fingerprinting.
Given the police can flat-out lie to you, and that they have been known to plant marijuana and/or guns, I wonder if they won’t start planting DNA too...
“Held: When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and bring the suspect to the station to be de-tained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestees DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing,a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth
...Marylands Act authorizes law en-forcement authorities to collect DNA samples from, as relevant here, persons charged with violent crimes,including first-degree assault. A sample may not be added to a database before an individual is ar-raigned, and it must be destroyed if, e.g.,he is not convicted...
...The framework for deciding the issue presented is well established. Using a buccal swab inside a persons cheek to obtain a DNA sample is a search under the Fourth Amendment. And the fact that the intrusion is negligible is of central relevance to determining whether the search is reasonable, the ultimate measure of the constitutionality of a governmental search, Vernonia School Dist. 47Jv. Acton, 515 U. S. 646, 652. Because the need for a warrant is greatly diminished here, where the arrestee was already in valid police custody for a serious offense supported by probable cause, the search is analyzed by reference to reasonableness, not individualized suspicion, Samsonv. California, 547 U. S. 843, 855, n. 4, and reasonableness is determined by weighing the promotion of legitimate govern-mental interests against the degree to which [the search] intrudes upon an individuals privacy, Wyomingv. Houghton, 526 U. S. 295, 300. Pp. 710.”
At first glance, I’m inclined to agree with the decision. The 4th Amendment was meant to prevent general warrants, which lasted as long as the king was alive and allowed a search of your property at any time.
I know that a significant percentage of FReepers won’t agree with this decision, but I agree with this overturning of the Maryland Court of Appeals’ ruling that such “searches” are unconstitutional.
I’d argue that a fingerprint does not contain information on heredity, propensity to disease, and all of the defining information of one’s physical composition. So, not really similar.
I’m conflicted about this decision. Fingerprints, blood, BAC, hair, DNA, iris scans, tatoo pics. What’s next when technology allows it? Semen, brain waves?
“...ruling that it amounts to the 21st century version of fingerprinting”
Because the government could always abuse fingerprints to determine paternity, look for genetic markers that predict cancer, etc.
Yep, DNA is just like fingerprints.
So if the “probable cause” reason for searching falls through, then the DNA info gained is inadmissable?
Also, what is so hard about getting a legitimate warrant is the suspect is detained?
I speak as someone who has their DNA ‘on file’ (we put blood samples on cards in the Army, which could later be used to identify our remains).
I don’t feel real good about it. I can imagine a world where the HHS gets their hands on my DNA, and finds a way to raise my insurance rates, if it finds a genetic marker for cancer. I can imagine a world where the federal governemnt starts to build a national genetic family tree...for the purposes of retribution. It might discover that my great, great, great grandfather owned slaves...and prescribe that I pay into a repparations fund. I can imagine a world where the federal government identifies that I have a genetic predisposition to being violent...and I can no longer pass a background check.
This is huge - the government (which I have little trust towards) has just been given the key code to our genetic code. The socialistic possibilities of this are endless.
And it is nooooothing like fingerprints...which are good for one solitary purpose, and nothing else - establishing identity.
The problem is not in taking the DNA and comparing it with existing samples of DNA taken from crime scenes. The problem is the retention of that sample and its information, not just at the local, but the state and federal level.
The feds in particular want a permanent database of the DNA of all people living in the US, and even that of people who visit the US. It’s just another part of their obsessive voyeurism and illusion of micromanaging control over people.
It is way past the point of reasonableness, and is in the realm of mental illness. Something that should be taken into account when you hear the pleadings of those that crave ever more information about the lives of their subjects.
And something that should definitely be ended by those people interested in limited government.
“Marylands Act authorizes law enforcement authorities to collect DNA samples from, as relevant here, persons charged with violent crimes,including first-degree assault. A sample may not be added to a database before an individual is arraigned, and it must be destroyed if, e.g.,he is not convicted”
Is the law obeyed or are samples kept? Are samples reported to the feds but discarded locally? I don’t think fingerprints are discarded, they are reported to the feds conviction or no.
“Id argue that a fingerprint does not contain information on heredity, propensity to disease, and all of the defining information of ones physical composition. So, not really similar.”
Just wait until the IRS gets to use this information to determine your health insurance rates, etc.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the IRS doesn’t eventually demand DNA tests for everyone.
taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestees DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
No it’s not the same. You don’t lose anything physical with fingerprinting or photography. With this you lose some cells, so it’s not just a search, it’s a seizure. And a seizure without due process or just compensation.
I know a few cells aren’t much to be seized, but where do you draw the new line and what keeps them from moving it again once it is drawn? Remember, we already had a line, at least in the opinion of some, and this changes it.
Anyone who thinks this is a good idea obviously trusts Government FAR more than I do.
I wodner if it’s possible to kick the Supeme court leeches out of hteir jobs for deriliction of duty, and appoint others with actual morals and ethics and hwo undersatand our constitution and who aren’t owned by the govenrment for skeletons i ntheir closets?
This latest rulign should leave NO doubt that our supreme court is now a majority of TRAITORS to the peopel TRAITORS to the constitution
[[Id argue that a fingerprint does not contain information on heredity, propensity to disease, and all of the defining information of ones physical composition. So, not really similar.]]
Absolutely, You just nailed it- There’s a masive push by our govenrment to pass laws which will give our govenrment the ‘right’ to bar citizens from owning guns, (and apaprently fro mexcersizign hteir free speech too) and htis collection of DNA WILL BE antoher tool at their disposal for barring someone they deem ‘unfit’ from owning a gun
A couple of years ago our govenrment was puttign together a MASSIVE nationwide network of medical record, and at hte same time doctors began handing out anti-depressents, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic drugs liek htey were candy- for everythign from actual depression or mental issues, to thigns as minor as aches and pains- claiming that unbalanced seratonine levels ‘coudl cause minor pains’-
This was NO accident- all those folks who were prescribed those anti- drugs are now in a database with a red flag beside their name and albeeled as ‘possible threat’
Now we have our governemtn collecting DNA which WILL do just what you said- be markers for any history of anything- even slight depression- which might have run in a family, but which NEVER caused any problems (despite thsoe members havign owned guns- but now oru govenrment WILL intervein and confiscate the guns)
Think it can’t happen Folks? Think this is all just a ‘bunch of hysteria over nothing’? It IS happening- NY is confiscating guns from folks hwo were on depression medicines but who have commited no crimes- They are cofniscatign guns WITHOUT due process and WITHOUT any actual professional diagnosis’ of depression- Other states will sooon follow
[[I dont feel real good about it. I can imagine a world where the HHS gets their hands on my DNA, and finds a way to raise my insurance rates, if it finds a genetic marker for cancer.]]
Excellent point- The potential for abuses are massive- I’m sure the left will argue htough “Well, ethically, you shoudl find out if you are goign to be a liability because of a genetic issue, and if so, you shoudl be obligated to ‘pay your fair share’”
See where that is going?
[[I can imagine a world where the federal governemnt starts to build a national genetic family tree...]]
Pssst- the tree already has rooted itself
[[I can imagine a world where the federal government identifies that I have a genetic predisposition to being violent...and I can no longer pass a background check.]]
AgaIN- the [potential for abuses by such a system are frightening- If they can’t get you via medical records, they may still be able to ban you from anythign requiring a backgroudn check via DNA records fro mtheir database
[[And it is nooooothing like fingerprints...which are good for one solitary purpose, and nothing else - establishing identity]]
[[I know a few cells arent much to be seized, but where do you draw the new line and what keeps them from moving it again once it is drawn? Remember, we already had a line, at least in the opinion of some, and this changes it.]]
That’s thje tactic of hte left- keep movign hte goalposts until no right are left- and incredibly, Americans keep votign for htis loss of rights-
Not only cops, DNA can be planted by anyone.
Cigarette butts, hair from a brush for example. It's not possible to do that with a finger print.
Talk about an easy way to set up an enemy.
As stated, DNA can be used for more than ID. But if that’s all it’s used for, it’s pretty much the same thing.
Sure is. Judges can be impeached and removed from office using the exact same procedure as for executive branch officials. Hasn't been used very often, though.
The USA is now a Gestapo Totalitarian State.
USA is f***ed.
And don’t be surprised if it gets shared with the IRS to ‘facilitate the accuracy’ of your Obammycare.
Along those lines, isn’t it curious how the Innocence Project can use DNA to free people from ‘Death Row’, but it seems DNA is never convincing enough to use for an expedient execution?
Those wackobirds? They'll be the first to get tested.
They’ve probably got most people’s DNA in a data base already. Ever lick a stamp? This will just make it where they don’t have to keep it secret any more.
Exactly and if it ends up in an Obamacare file, oh Ooops.
I like your posts.
In all fairness, W. Bush was responsible for the vile HIPAA, which is a police state fantasy, stripping away the privacy of medical records until it is repealed, plus a generation, as undoubtedly some bureaucrats would go to lengths to preserve its data.
It isn’t being used for that purpose.. so again not really different.
At which point you could sue the government for handing over your DNA to private companies and would win the case.
I wasn’t presuming that any of the potential abuses would be carried out by private companies. Government can do it all.
Currently they cannot raise your rates on insurance.
These are all predictions for how this could be abused in the future.
So you are not only assuming that your DNA will be used against you but that also the government will take over all forms of insurance? let’s assume you are correct and the government takes over health insurance. The court has well defined law that says you can’t take something from someone for one thing and use it for another. Besides it wouldn’t really hold down healthcare prices, not enough people are arrested for “serious crimes” in order to do that.
“So you are not only assuming that your DNA will be used against you but that also the government will take over all forms of insurance?”
Well...yes. Hasn’t the government practically done that already? Hint: See if Hobby Lobby can offer private insurance without paying for birth control.
I don’t think it is a stretch at all to contemplate a world where the HHS states that private insurance companies can’t prescribe a medicine for a patient who is genetically disposed to a life ending condition. They already dictate all kinds of stuff...and will increase their power in the very near future by penalizing people monetarily for not having ‘enough’ insurance, and penalizing them for having a ‘cadillac’ insurance plan.
Its all about control....which is why it doesn’t matter whether or not it actually holds down healthcare costs.