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Thread: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    If I'm reading the decision correctly, it's limited to felony arrests. So unless your hypothetical protestor assaults a cop or shatters a shop window, they won't get swabbed.
    The original law was limited to just certain felony arrests. That is why this went to court. He was arrested on a felony charge and swabbed, he then pled the charge down to a lesser crime and the court said his DNA could not be used for other cases even though it implicated him in an unsolved rape.
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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
    I think a warrent should be required.
    The police already have pretty good access to your DNA.

    They can go through your trash to find something with your hair or saliva on it. Similarly, they can hand you a cup of water during an interrogation, and get your DNA off the cup. Or, in one famous case, Seattle PD tricked a suspect into mailing them a letter that he sealed with his saliva. In these cases, you are abandoning property or an object that happens to have your DNA on it.

    Sounds to me like the SCOTUS is streamlining the process. Plus, for those who object to the ruling, it is still possible to pass a law which forbids state police from collecting DNA after an arrest without a warrant.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    What an incredibly stupid and frustrating decision. It's already legal to take DNA from those who are actually convicted after their arrest. The ONLY people this impacts are those who are arrested, but are not charged and are later released. I.E. those cleared of any wrongdoing. I can't see why you'd support this decision and not want the database to cover the entire population.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    What an incredibly stupid and frustrating decision. It's already legal to take DNA from those who are actually convicted after their arrest. The ONLY people this impacts are those who are arrested, but are not charged and are later released. I.E. those cleared of any wrongdoing. I can't see why you'd support this decision and not want the database to cover the entire population.
    I can see them taking the swab, running checks on open cases then destroying the data if nothing comes up. But to just take it because you are charged seems a bit harsh. It's not like there is never a case of someone being wrongly charge for something.
    There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Heebie Jeebie View Post
    I can see them taking the swab, running checks on open cases then destroying the data if nothing comes up. But to just take it because you are charged seems a bit harsh. It's not like there is never a case of someone being wrongly charge for something.
    Unless the law requires that the swab can only be used in furtherance of the case in which the individual was arrested, there seems to me no requirement for the police not to store the results in a database and use them in future or other cases.

    What happened to probable cause being required for the police to get a warrant on the suspicion that a person was connected to a crime? In this case, the result is that your DNA will provide a presumption of guilt in all cases until such time as the data clears you of any or all crimes in perpetuity.

    What forces the police to destroy the DNA swab evidence/results after the individual is released or not charged or not convicted of a crime?
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    not sure i support this one; there's a lot more info to be gleaned from DNA. thoughts on this decision?
    This is a violation of 4th amendment and 5th amendment rights.Swabbing for DNA is a search and it is basically forcing someone to testify against themselves. An arrest doesn't equal guilt.You are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a criminal court of law.Innocent people should not have their constitutional rights violated without a warrant.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    It's interesting how the court split.
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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    It's interesting how the court split.
    It is interesting that Alito and Breyer appear to be on opposite sides of where they usually would be. That's not a bad thing, in and of itself, but the decision is bad, in my view.

    Comparing DNA to finger prints and mug shots taken upon arrest is a real broadening of police powers - finger prints and mug shots are usually used only to verify the person arrested is who he/she claims to be, not for purposes of solving a crime by themselves.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Heebie Jeebie View Post
    I can see them taking the swab, running checks on open cases then destroying the data if nothing comes up. But to just take it because you are charged seems a bit harsh. It's not like there is never a case of someone being wrongly charge for something.
    There was a story a year or two ago that said 30-40% of the population will have been arrested by the time they're 23.

    That's not counting traffic citations. Most people don't realize that they're technically arrested when they're pulled over for something like running a light or speeding. It's a temporary arrest, but an arrest nonetheless. You are being detained and are not free to go until you sign the ticket (which acts like a bond) - if you don't sign the ticket, you go to jail.

    Taking that into account, I'd imagine that the arrest rate is well over 90%. Some police departments fingerprint at traffic stops. It'd be much easier to swab.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I'm not in the US, but this strikes me as having the potential to abrogate your constitution's defense against self-incrimination. I could understand if it applied to those who were convicted in a court of some crime, as part of their sentence, but how many people in the course of any day are arrested and let go without charges? How many people are rounded up in a protest, to disband a crowd, and then let go? Are these people all going to be swabbed and tested just in case you might strike gold and catch someone?
    So would fingerprints. But, like fingerprints, DNA is physical evidence and is open game when someone is arrested.
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    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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