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  1. #1
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    SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    The Supreme Court is considering the limits of post-arrest DNA sampling. Is it like fingerprinting, a minimal invasion of privacy, or is it an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment? Can it be used as a basis to proceed against the accused where the previous crime is unconnected to the one in which the DNA was collected?

    The case arises from the arrest of a 26-year-old Maryland man, Alonzo King, in 2009 on a charge of second-degree assault. The police took a swab of DNA from his cheek, ran it through a database and matched it to an unsolved rape from six years earlier.

    King was convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for the 2009 assault. The Maryland Court of Appeals later reversed the rape conviction on the grounds that the DNA sample was an unreasonable search.

    The question before the court has vast implications: 28 states and the federal government take DNA swabs from people under arrest before they can be judged innocent or guilty. In Maryland alone, DNA samples during arrests have led to 75 prosecutions and 42 convictions since 2009, Katherine Winfree, the state’s chief deputy attorney general, told the justices.
    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...g-arrests?lite

    For analysis of the issues, and the amicus positions, see: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/12-207

    At argument it appeared that Justices Alito, endorsing the sampling, and Scalia, against the sampling, were on opposite sides of this issue.

    The case is Maryland vs. King.

    Your thoughts?

    At first glance I analogize it to fingerprinting, which can also refer back to previously unsolved crimes. And a cheek swab is minimally intrusive.

  2. #2
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    I quote from Law.cornell

    When state officials collect and analyze a DNA sample taken from a person who has been arrested for, but not convicted of, a criminal offense, is there a violation of the person’s right against unreasonable searches as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment?

    Source Link: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/12-207
    Such a position encourages unreasonable search and arrest to develop a national data base of DNA samples of innocent people despite the case under review (Maryland v. King) clearly tying the defendant with the earlier rape case.

    How many unreasonable arrests will lead to prosecution thence, conviction?

    This quote from the captioned NBC news article is pertinent to my misgivings:

    Maryland law restricts DNA swabbing to people arrested for certain violent crimes. But Chief Justice John Roberts, worried about the reach of similar laws, wondered during the oral argument why they couldn’t be applied to simple traffic stops.

    “There’s no reason you couldn’t, right?” he asked Winfree. “I gather it’s not that hard. Police officers who give Breathalyzer tests, they can also take a Q-tip or whatever and get a DNA sample, right?”
    George Orwell's 1984 teaches us that Big Brother's reach has already been tested in totalitarian states such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union leading to catastrophic consequences for the human person.
    Last edited by opinterph; June 2nd, 2013 at 09:32 AM. Reason: added quote tags & source link

  3. #3

    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    It is not unreasonable, and is much less invasive than the routine srip and cavity search.

  4. #4
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    I think we should hold police officers to a high standard of investigative skill such that if someone comes to their attention, there is a very good likelihood that their investigation will accurately determine that a suspect was involved in criminal activity.

    Thus, if I am questioned as a possible witness to a crime, I would not permit having my DNA sampled. If I was the subject of criminal-code charges after a thorough and accurate investigation, some might argue, but I think it would be appropriate to take a sample then. Certainly if the subsequent trial produced a conviction the sample should stand for future reference or evidence in past criminal complaints. If the subsequent trial resulted in a not-guilty verdict, and there is no match for any past crime, the sample and related records should be destroyed.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    It is not unreasonable, and is much less invasive than the routine srip and cavity search.
    That is correct but were your DNA sample extracted by a police officer merely for the purpose of building up a DNA national data base on the possibility that at some future date you might commit a crime would you agree to unreasonable stop, search and extraction of a DNA sample under false pretence?

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I think we should hold police officers to a high standard of investigative skill such that if someone comes to their attention, there is a very good likelihood that their investigation will accurately determine that a suspect was involved in criminal activity.

    Thus, if I am questioned as a possible witness to a crime, I would not permit having my DNA sampled. If I was the subject of criminal-code charges after a thorough and accurate investigation, some might argue, but I think it would be appropriate to take a sample then. Certainly if the subsequent trial produced a conviction the sample should stand for future reference or evidence in past criminal complaints. If the subsequent trial resulted in a not-guilty verdict, and there is no match for any past crime, the sample and related records should be destroyed.
    Were it to become national/state policy to extract DNA samples from the entire population to build up a national DNA data base the integrity of police officers would not be an issue whilst, also recognising that the police service does not attract the most ethical of human beings when, understanding that promotion to higher grades more often or not depends on the number of arrests, prosecutions and convictions appearing on a police officer's Curriculum Vitae.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    I think that degree of cynicism about the integrity of police officers can only be a product of years and decades of insufficient scrutiny by the public of the police in one's community. It isn't like that everywhere.

    As far as a database of the entire population, inclusion in a "national genome" would not attract the stigma of being a potential criminal, however I think current legal safeguards are woefully inadequate. I've seen references to some studies that our biology may contribute to our political views. I would not accept that a database could exist without safeguards to prevent its future exploitation by a corrupt government intent on identifying its likely opponents or crafting policies designed to disadvantage them. I think the science is not clear enough to envision all the ways in which the data might be misused; all the more reason for stringent safeguards in advance.

    But in this case I'm talking about identified criminals and suspects. I'd apply the same standard to fingerprints actually. If my biometric information does not result in a conviction or an active investigation of a previous crime, then the data should be destroyed, and not kept on hand "in the eventuality" that I might commit a crime in the future.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  8. #8

    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    The Fourth Amentment is not intended to prevent the collection of data, but to provent unreasonable invasions of personal security. A cavity search is an extreme, but necessary invasion. The collection of DNA is much less invasive, and no more unreasonable than photos, fingerprinting and the notation of hair and eye color, scars etc. if the Court prohibits it, the police can probably accomplish the same by requiring spit. Whether the police should be allowed to collect data is not in issue and is not a constitutional issue, only the unreasonableness of the search. I would agree that stopping someone solely to collect data would be unreasonable, but once a person is arrested, it is not.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I think that degree of cynicism about the integrity of police officers can only be a product of years and decades of insufficient scrutiny by the public of the police in one's community. It isn't like that everywhere.

    As far as a database of the entire population, inclusion in a "national genome" would not attract the stigma of being a potential criminal, however I think current legal safeguards are woefully inadequate. I've seen references to some studies that our biology may contribute to our political views. I would not accept that a database could exist without safeguards to prevent its future exploitation by a corrupt government intent on identifying its likely opponents or crafting policies designed to disadvantage them. I think the science is not clear enough to envision all the ways in which the data might be misused; all the more reason for stringent safeguards in advance.

    But in this case I'm talking about identified criminals and suspects. I'd apply the same standard to fingerprints actually. If my biometric information does not result in a conviction or an active investigation of a previous crime, then the data should be destroyed, and not kept on hand "in the eventuality" that I might commit a crime in the future.
    I am also concerned that criminals should face the criminal justice system but also recognise that our knee jerk rush to tighten the net so to speak we also include those who are innocent and I am also very concerned that a national DNA data base might be accessed by those with another agenda that compromises the well being of the innocent person here, I am contemplating health care insurance companies calculating the propensity of people to develop serious illness that can be determined by analysing DNA samples.

  10. #10
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    The Fourth Amentment is not intended to prevent the collection of data, but to provent unreasonable invasions of personal security. A cavity search is an extreme, but necessary invasion. The collection of DNA is much less invasive, and no more unreasonable than photos, fingerprinting and the notation of hair and eye color, scars etc. if the Court prohibits it, the police can probably accomplish the same by requiring spit. Whether the police should be allowed to collect data is not in issue and is not a constitutional issue, only the unreasonableness of the search. I would agree that stopping someone solely to collect data would be unreasonable, but once a person is arrested, it is not.
    We agree that the actual procedure of collection is not unreasonable...but this is not the issue under review.... it is that police officers may be encouraged to make unreasonable stops, searches and collections of DNA samples because of racial profiling already a fact of life for those who are members of minority communities.

  11. #11
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    I am also concerned that criminals should face the criminal justice system but also recognise that our knee jerk rush to tighten the net so to speak we also include those who are innocent and I am also very concerned that a national DNA data base might be accessed by those with another agenda that compromises the well being of the innocent person here, I am contemplating health care insurance companies calculating the propensity of people to develop serious illness that can be determined by analysing DNA samples.
    Well we agree on a pre-emptive data base being ill advised at present. The health care issue isn't a concern here where there is usually no insurance company involved in most kinds of care (other than eyes and teeth).

    I would actually favour a database for health reasons; it would be a rich source of data for potentially life-saving treatments and much more meaningful at scale.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  12. #12
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Well we agree on a pre-emptive data base being ill advised at present. The health care issue isn't a concern here where there is usually no insurance company involved in most kinds of care (other than eyes and teeth).

    I would actually favour a database for health reasons; it would be a rich source of data for potentially life-saving treatments and much more meaningful at scale.
    A national health care data base of DNA samples might well also deny cover to those persons deemed by a health insurance company to be too high risk.

    I am always loath to embrace any form of DNA national data base for fear that it would be abused by those with an agenda that encourages invasion of personal privacy for no other reason than to obtain personal information. I agree that the development of electronic based information is a fact of life and that most of us can be identified through the Internet, credit card transactions, telephone usage etc. but also understand that I do not wish to be stopped by police officers under false pretext simply to collect a sample of my DNA for this merely heralds in a police state something I would reject.
    Last edited by kallipolis; June 2nd, 2013 at 08:22 AM.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Fingerprinting is not as precise but amounts to exactly the same thing. The vast majority of people on this planet do not forefeit their right to fingerprint or DNA privacy because they do not find a way to run afoul of the law. I see no difference. The court will rule it is reasonable or they will have to remove fingerprinting and mug shots upon arrest.
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    A national health care data base of DNA samples might well also deny cover to those persons deemed by a health insurance company to be too high risk.
    Well there, I'd advocate just removing insurance companies from the health care system of your country and making it a government service.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  15. #15
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Fingerprinting is not as precise but amounts to exactly the same thing. The vast majority of people on this planet do not forefeit their right to fingerprint or DNA privacy because they do not find a way to run afoul of the law. I see no difference. The court will rule it is reasonable or they will have to remove fingerprinting and mug shots upon arrest.
    Were that the case we here and the legal whizkids would not be holding this discussion. Not that simple.

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    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Fingerprinting is not as precise but amounts to exactly the same thing. The vast majority of people on this planet do not forefeit their right to fingerprint or DNA privacy because they do not find a way to run afoul of the law. I see no difference. The court will rule it is reasonable or they will have to remove fingerprinting and mug shots upon arrest.
    I see the parallel between finger prints and dna; it is private in the sense that it requires some difficulty to collect without my consent, in a way that is likely to be intrusive. My image is something that is available to someone standing across the street however. I think even though they are posed and obtained involuntarily from someone in custody, there might be technical reasons for treating mug shots somewhat differently.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  17. #17
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    Well there, I'd advocate just removing insurance companies from the health care system of your country and making it a government service.
    You are a Canadian and I note the quality of health care in your country's national health service much respected by me.

  18. #18
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Were that the case we here and the legal whizkids would not be holding this discussion. Not that simple.
    Sometimes it is just that simple, but the novelty of DNA analysis means that the issue has to work its way through the courts for the first itme.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  19. #19
    Rambunctiously Pugnacious JayHawk's Avatar
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Were that the case we here and the legal whizkids would not be holding this discussion. Not that simple.
    No the legal whiz kids are arguing it because the SCOTUS is making a decisions on it... that is the plain and simple.

    I don't see it changing. But hey.... they are full of surprises these days... they soon may just make gay people -- human.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
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  20. #20

    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    We agree that the actual procedure of collection is not unreasonable...but this is not the issue under review.... it is that police officers may be encouraged to make unreasonable stops, searches and collections of DNA samples because of racial profiling already a fact of life for those who are members of minority communities.
    No that is not at all the issue. The only issue is whether, once an arrest has been made, is the collection of DNA by swab, without concent, an unreasonable search within the meaning of the fourth amendment.

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    Know thyself kallipolis's Avatar
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I see the parallel between finger prints and dna; it is private in the sense that it requires some difficulty to collect without my consent, in a way that is likely to be intrusive. My image is something that is available to someone standing across the street however. I think even though they are posed and obtained involuntarily from someone in custody, there might be technical reasons for treating mug shots somewhat differently.
    Would you agree to be stopped, searched and a DNA sample involuntarily taken by police officers under false pretext?

    In your opinion - we speak here of the United States - who do you believe would attract the most attention from a racial perspective when police officers select their sampling subjects?

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    No that is not at all the issue. The only issue is whether, once an arrest has been made, is the collection of DNA by swab, without concent, an unreasonable search within the meaning of the fourth amendment.
    My point is that stop, search and collection of DNA samples will become the norm under false pretext simply to build a state/national DNA data base and that prejudice will determine who police officers will be more likely to stop.

    It would be naive to believe that police officers stop people only as a result of reasonable suspicion that they have committed an offence.

  23. #23
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    You are a Canadian and I note the quality of health care in your country's national health service much respected by me.
    If we paid into our system what the Americans paid into theirs per capita, Canadian health outcomes would likely lead anywhere else in the world by an embarrassing percentage.

    We have the right model, but underfunded. Due, paradoxically, to the robustness and success of that model in working with what it's allocated. And due to the lobbying efforts of those with interests in private insurance. And due to the cowardliness of Canadian politicians faced with the challenge of saying things like "Yes, you will need to pay an extra one percent in sales tax. It is still hundreds less each year than Americans will pay for private insurance, and it will still get you more health care per dollar than you can imagine.

    Anyway I think I agree with jayhawk about the comparison to other records kept.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    No the legal whiz kids are arguing it because the SCOTUS is making a decisions on it... that is the plain and simple.

    I don't see it changing. But hey.... they are full of surprises these days... they soon may just make gay people -- human.
    That's what I have said.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Would you agree to be stopped, searched and a DNA sample involuntarily taken by police officers under false pretext?

    In your opinion - we speak here of the United States - who do you believe would attract the most attention from a racial perspective when police officers select their sampling subjects?
    I wouldn't agree to any of it under false pretext. But I suppose I'd have recourse to the courts to back me up in that circumstance.

    However if the investigation were legitimate, then yes, a sample could be taken involuntarily. If convicted, or if it matches evidence from some other crime, then they could retain it indefinitely in my view.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Would you agree to be stopped, searched and a DNA sample involuntarily taken by police officers under false pretext?

    In your opinion - we speak here of the United States - who do you believe would attract the most attention from a racial perspective when police officers select their sampling subjects?
    Agree to it? where does false pretext come in? Are you saying we should allow those who commits crimes a great deal of anonymity so that perhaps one person gets DNA sampled under a unproven allegation?

    I have been DNA sampled since 1996.... willfully. I know for a fact i will never be involved in a crime so it does not matter. However, in case of natural disaster or military violent death, my remains can be identified giving my loved ones closure.

    Hell we have child finger print programs in the US to identify abducted children. DNA is just a step further.

    The NSA computer complex in the west that is currently under construction will collect the 'DNA' if you will of every persons electronic signature. Currently through a single mans decision all of your electronic history can be easily released yet that computer complex will make it a complete history.

    Do you agree or disagree with the invasive nature of cameras everywhere? I know parts of Europe are constantly filmed.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post

    Anyway I think I agree with jayhawk about the comparison to other records kept.
    Since when do police officers make unreasonable stops and searches merely to collect finger prints?

    Were this a standard police procedure then I would be trembling with fear.

    The captioned NBC article clearly spells out the easy possibility of a police officer making a Breathalyzer test randomly on car drivers and taking a DNA sample with a cotton bud merely on the pretext that the driver could be a wanted criminal.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Since when do police officers make unreasonable stops and searches merely to collect finger prints?

    Were this a standard police procedure then I would be trembling with fear.

    The captioned NBC article clearly spells out the easy possibility of a police officer making a Breathalyzer test randomly on car drivers and taking a DNA sample with a cotton bud merely on the pretext that the driver could be a wanted criminal.
    Yet the caption at the top of the page states quite clearly POST-arrest.

    We do obviously allow directed breathalyzers because driving is a privilege and not a right. I have never seen nor will I see in my lifetime random fingerprinting or DNA collection.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    I have been DNA sampled since 1996.... willfully. I know for a fact i will never be involved in a crime so it does not matter. However, in case of natural disaster or military violent death, my remains can be identified giving my loved ones closure.
    If you consent to that as a kindness to your loved ones, however, do you think it is legitimate for any branch of government to consult that record for reasons you haven't given consent for?
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Agree to it? where does false pretext come in? Are you saying we should allow those who commits crimes a great deal of anonymity so that perhaps one person gets DNA sampled under a unproven allegation?

    I have been DNA sampled since 1996.... willfully. I know for a fact i will never be involved in a crime so it does not matter. However, in case of natural disaster or military violent death, my remains can be identified giving my loved ones closure.

    Hell we have child finger print programs in the US to identify abducted children. DNA is just a step further.

    The NSA computer complex in the west that is currently under construction will collect the 'DNA' if you will of every persons electronic signature. Currently through a single mans decision all of your electronic history can be easily released yet that computer complex will make it a complete history.

    Do you agree or disagree with the invasive nature of cameras everywhere? I know parts of Europe are constantly filmed.
    I am discussing empowering police officers to take DNA samples at random. This empowerment can lead to racial profiling and has done. Random stop and search powers have been withdrawn from London, England police officers as a result of excessive stoppages of young men from minority communities leading to social unrest. Such powers are abused by police officers.

    Most camera surveillance in European cities is focused on efficient circulation of traffic control but in city centres it is also common to place cameras for the purpose of monitoring crowds particularly during busy shopping periods. They are not used to prevent criminal behaviour rather to ensure that people are well aware that their behaviour is monitored.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I think we should hold police officers to a high standard of investigative skill such that if someone comes to their attention, there is a very good likelihood that their investigation will accurately determine that a suspect was involved in criminal activity....
    That really depends on your police. It isn't unknown around here for police to arrest out of laziness, or spite, or prejudice. I think they should be held to a very high standard when it comes to search and siezure - it sounds reasonable to say what you're saying, but that's only logical in a system that doesn't have abuse of authority.
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Yet the caption at the top of the page states quite clearly POST-arrest.

    We do obviously allow directed breathalyzers because driving is a privilege and not a right. I have never seen nor will I see in my lifetime random fingerprinting or DNA collection.
    Arrests are executed at random and often when the suspect is considered easy prey with little more than a visit to a police station to prove that the police officer has been working his shift in a constructive manner.

    Let's hope that SCOTUS maintains the citizen's human right not to be finger printed or have a DNA sample taken at random.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by TX-Beau View Post
    That really depends on your police. It isn't unknown around here for police to arrest out of laziness, or spite, or prejudice. I think they should be held to a very high standard when it comes to search and siezure - it sounds reasonable to say what you're saying, but that's only logical in a system that doesn't have abuse of authority.
    My point exactly.

  34. #34

    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    My point is that stop, search and collection of DNA samples will become the norm under false pretext simply to build a state/national DNA data base and that prejudice will determine who police officers will be more likely to stop.

    It would be naive to believe that police officers stop people only as a result of reasonable suspicion that they have committed an offence.
    The Constitutional issue does not turn on such fears and considerations. The Court's holding will be limited to situation in which the individuals have already been arrested. The police do not now stop people and photo and fingerprint them on the street.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    The Constitutional issue does not turn on such fears and considerations. The Court's holding will be limited to situation in which the individuals have already been arrested. The police do not now stop people and photo and fingerprint them on the street.
    Were this matter to proceed the way you wish it the police will stop people under false pretext, as if they do not already merely to take DNA samples a more convenient and simpler procedure than finger printing.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    The Constitutional issue does not turn on such fears and considerations. The Court's holding will be limited to situation in which the individuals have already been arrested. The police do not now stop people and photo and fingerprint them on the street.

    Actually we have a bill of rights specifically because of such fears and considerations.
    ATTACK OF THE LIBERAL ELITE

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    I am discussing empowering police officers to take DNA samples at random. This empowerment can lead to racial profiling and has done. Random stop and search powers have been withdrawn from London, England police officers as a result of excessive stoppages of young men from minority communities leading to social unrest. Such powers are abused by police officers.

    Most camera surveillance in European cities is focused on efficient circulation of traffic control but in city centres it is also common to place cameras for the purpose of monitoring crowds particularly during busy shopping periods. They are not used to prevent criminal behaviour rather to ensure that people are well aware that their behaviour is monitored.
    Oh... since that is not being considered I cant really argue random DNA.
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    Arrests are executed at random and often when the suspect is considered easy prey with little more than a visit to a police station to prove that the police officer has been working his shift in a constructive manner.

    Let's hope that SCOTUS maintains the citizen's human right not to be finger printed or have a DNA sample taken at random.
    You speak of two entirely different things. Random would be them turning on lights, walking to the car you are in, swabbing your cheek and letting you go.

    IF you place yourself in positions that make it more likely that you will be arrested, guilty or not, then you will receive the prejudice of the law. That has been going on in this land of freedom since the beginning of time. I doubt the SCOTUS will change that.
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    I would be curious to know whether there is a record available on the Internet detailing police arrests that have not led to prosecutions.

    I am thinking of the United States for here in Greece I am certain that such data is not available to the public even assuming that such data is collected here.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    You speak of two entirely different things. Random would be them turning on lights, walking to the car you are in, swabbing your cheek and letting you go.

    IF you place yourself in positions that make it more likely that you will be arrested, guilty or not, then you will receive the prejudice of the law. That has been going on in this land of freedom since the beginning of time. I doubt the SCOTUS will change that.
    I am speaking of arresting an alleged suspect for no other reason than proving that the police officer has been working.

    There is the ideal and I believe that most police officers live up to their oath to serve the common good but there is more than sufficient material in the media to indicate that very many police officers are prone to making false arrests to serve their agenda and here I am addressing the matter of racial profiling.

    I am addressing on the ground realities rather than academic theories based upon police officers always behaving correctly when dealing with the public.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    I must sign off and leave for work - thanks for the learning lessons.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Okay.... so we should behave as if every officer is a criminal? That makes no sense. We have to place some level of trust into the office they hold. Kind of like we give a level of trust to those who wear the clothe of this nation and swear to defend her secrets. Oh wait Bradley Manning isnt a rogue like these officers you speak of... no no he is a hero. lol
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  43. #43
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Surely, if people do not regard it as unreasonable for police to take a DNA sample of arrested individuals, then it cannot be a fourth amendment issue. I'd have thought that most people would be happy to allow the police to crack their cases in whatever fortunate method they can.
    An arrest should justify a DNA test, and any connection with unrelated cases is 'god working in mysterious ways'. Got nothing to hide, got nothing to worry about.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by kallipolis View Post
    I am discussing empowering police officers to take DNA samples at random. ....
    But the Court is not discussing that and in the context of this case needn't.

    This discussion is full of the law's "imaginary horribles" and logic's "slippery slope" (http://www.nizkor.org/features/falla...ery-slope.html ). There are many hurdles to jump to get from post-arrest DNA sampling to post-traffic violation DNA sampling, much less to random DNA sampling. Further, if the arrest is found to be groundless actions for false arrest and malicious prosecution will obtain.

    Further, while it is not certain protection, I am certain the conservative bent of this Court will so narrowly define "post-arrest DNA sampling" that its extension beyond that limited circumstance will not be countenanced.

    Most camera surveillance in European cities is focused on efficient circulation of traffic control but in city centres it is also common to place cameras for the purpose of monitoring crowds particularly during busy shopping periods. They are not used to prevent criminal behaviour rather to ensure that people are well aware that their behaviour is monitored.
    If you say so. I just don't believe your glossing over of the real reason.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    I, for one, would be thoroughly for a law that required destruction of collect DNA information IF a suspect is found not to be criminal.
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    I, for one, would be thoroughly for a law that required destruction of collect DNA information IF a suspect is found not to be criminal.
    But what about DNA collected at a scene but at that time not identifiable? Could that DNA be resourced to charge someone for a previous act when the person has been arrested on but subsequently is acquitted of the later charge? If the later DNA is destroyed it would doom the prosecution for the earlier act.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    No not DNA collected as a portion of investigation into a crime. The DNA collected at time of arrest and then used during the process for the accused. If then that person is found not guilty or simply released, then their DNA should be released as well.
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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    I'd vote for that. DNA collected from an identified suspect would be destroyed if the investigation were fruitless or resulted in a verdict of not guilty. UNLESS in the mean time it was shown to be connected to a different investigation. The evidence for that earlier crime could stay as long as the case remained unsolved.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I think that degree of cynicism about the integrity of police officers can only be a product of years and decades of insufficient scrutiny by the public of the police in one's community. It isn't like that everywhere.

    As far as a database of the entire population, inclusion in a "national genome" would not attract the stigma of being a potential criminal, however I think current legal safeguards are woefully inadequate. I've seen references to some studies that our biology may contribute to our political views. I would not accept that a database could exist without safeguards to prevent its future exploitation by a corrupt government intent on identifying its likely opponents or crafting policies designed to disadvantage them. I think the science is not clear enough to envision all the ways in which the data might be misused; all the more reason for stringent safeguards in advance.

    But in this case I'm talking about identified criminals and suspects. I'd apply the same standard to fingerprints actually. If my biometric information does not result in a conviction or an active investigation of a previous crime, then the data should be destroyed, and not kept on hand "in the eventuality" that I might commit a crime in the future.
    Definitely.

    As to the science... it is no longer farfetched to think that viruses targeting specific DNA are possible. If we can't trust the IRS to not persecute people for political views o allegiance, how can we trust the NSA or other agencies to not target specific people with viruses meant to cripple or kill?

    DNA is very much a definition of who a person is. To allow government any power over that is to maintain that people are merely property.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    The Fourth Amentment is not intended to prevent the collection of data, but to provent unreasonable invasions of personal security. A cavity search is an extreme, but necessary invasion. The collection of DNA is much less invasive, and no more unreasonable than photos, fingerprinting and the notation of hair and eye color, scars etc. if the Court prohibits it, the police can probably accomplish the same by requiring spit. Whether the police should be allowed to collect data is not in issue and is not a constitutional issue, only the unreasonableness of the search. I would agree that stopping someone solely to collect data would be unreasonable, but once a person is arrested, it is not.
    And there you have an invitation to government to collect the DNA of anyone they please: officers arrest individuals and invent the probable cause all too often now, and in the hands of unscrupulous police officials (e.g. such as those who believe citizens should not be armed and use their positions to influence who is and isn't) the authority to take DNA samples from anyone arrested means the authority to get samples from anyone they please.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: SCOTUS Considers Post-Arrest DNA Sampling

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    No that is not at all the issue. The only issue is whether, once an arrest has been made, is the collection of DNA by swab, without concent, an unreasonable search within the meaning of the fourth amendment.
    A reasonable court would decide that providing fingerprint or DNA data constitutes testifying against one's self, and thus cannot be compelled -- period.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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