June 13, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 8

Collect DNA after conviction, not before

In our opinion

In a sharply divided 5-4 decision last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled law enforcement collection of DNA samples from anyone arrested for a serious crime was not an unreasonable search or seizure as prohibited by the Fourth Amendment.

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The ruling upheld a Maryland law allowing police to take a DNA swab from someone arrested for a serious crime, something 28 other states and the federal government also allow. Supporters of the decision cheered the ruling, noting DNA evidence has been used to successfully link individuals to heinous crimes such as rape.

“Taking and analyzing a cheek swab o...

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