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Thread: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

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    Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest | Threat Level | Wired.com

    Gerstein posts a televised interview of Obama and John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. The nation’s chief executive extols the virtues of mandatory DNA testing of Americans upon arrest, even absent charges or a conviction. Obama said, “It’s the right thing to do” to “tighten the grip around folks” who commit crime.

    ...

    Now there’s DNA sampling. Obama told Walsh he supported the federal government, as well as the 18 states that have varying laws requiring compulsory DNA sampling of individuals upon an arrest for crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. The data is lodged in state and federal databases, and has fostered as many as 200 arrests nationwide, Walsh said.
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    President Barack Obama’s embrace of a national database to store the DNA of people arrested but not necessarily convicted of a crime is heartening to backers of the policy but disappointing to criminal-justice reformers, who view it as an invasion of privacy.

    Others also worry the practice would adversely affect minorities.

    In an interview aired Saturday on “America’s Most Wanted,” Obama expressed strong agreement as host John Walsh extolled the virtues of collecting DNA at the time of an arrest and putting it into a single, national database.

    ...

    “It’s a horrible idea — tremendously invasive,” said Bill Quigley of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who also disputed Walsh’s claim that DNA is no different from fingerprints.

    “It’s like a hair sample, looking at your health care records and everything else,” Quigley said. “It’s like giving a blank check to the government — a blank check they can cash anytime they feel like it.”

    In a provocative report two years ago, titled “Building Jim Crow’s Database,” Small and other critics charged that DNA-upon-arrest provisions disproportionately affect minorities because they are more likely to be arrested, even if not convicted.

    “It’s racially incredibly skewed,” she said.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34097.html

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    Interesting to see. This is another fairly large break from what many assumed (fairly or not) would be Obama's approach toward privacy rights and the procedures used in criminal prosecution.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 03-14-10 at 09:23 PM.
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Supporting DNA sampling is pretty reasonable, based on my understanding of the practice. It has a relatively low impact on a law-abiding person's private life and enables the government to apprehend repeat offenders with comparative ease. Also, it hasn't become a solely liberal or solely conservative viewpoint yet.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 03-14-10 at 09:50 PM.
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    Supporting DNA sampling is pretty reasonable, based on my understanding of the practice. It has a relatively low impact on a law-abiding person's private life and enables the government to apprehend repeat offenders with comparative ease. Also, it hasn't become a solely liberal or solely conservative viewpoint yet.
    The SC has upheld it in relation to convicted felons, but that's much different than applying to everyone arrested of any crime, even if they're not eventually prosecuted for it. It's not a liberal v. conservative issue, it's a civil libertarian v. supporter of government authority issue.
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    The SC has upheld it in relation to convicted felons, but that's much different than applying to everyone arrested of any crime, even if they're not eventually prosecuted for it. It's not a liberal v. conservative issue, it's a civil libertarian v. supporter of government authority issue.
    How about this, if the case is dismissed or not prosecuted, the DNA is destroyed.

    But then again, I don't trust the Federal government or state governments to actually do this properly. Record retention, destruction and organization aren't things they do well.
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    How about this, if the case is dismissed or not prosecuted, the DNA is destroyed.

    But then again, I don't trust the Federal government or state governments to actually do this properly. Record retention, destruction and organization aren't things they do well.
    Yea, that's what I was about to ask.

    Could you really trust them to do that.
    I know I don't.
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Yea, that's what I was about to ask.

    Could you really trust them to do that.
    I know I don't.
    Some records are okay. Parking tickets? Sure. My genetic history? No.

    Someone hacks in and gets my parking tickets. Big fricken deal. Getting my personal financial? Hell No. But then again, private industry isn't any better with that.
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    I am not sure on this whole topic, but...isn't this just basically the direct descendant of fingerprinting? Isn't it done for the same reason? If so, how is this different?
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I am not sure on this whole topic, but...isn't this just basically the direct descendant of fingerprinting? Isn't it done for the same reason? If so, how is this different?
    The American Civil Liberties Union claims DNA sampling is different from mandatory, upon-arrest fingerprinting that has been standard practice in the United States for decades.

    A fingerprint, the group says, reveals nothing more than a person’s identity. But much can be learned from a DNA sample, which codes a person’s family ties, some health risks, and, according to some, can predict a propensity for violence.

    The ACLU is suing California to block its voter-approved measure requiring saliva sampling of people picked up on felony charges. Authorities in the Golden State are allowed to conduct so-called “familial searching” — when a genetic sample does not directly match another, authorities start investigating people with closely matched DNA in hopes of finding leads to the perpetrator.
    It's the same general concept, but it allows for much further intrusion. It's like saying that just because an officer who looks through your window and sees you breaking the law can enter the house and arrest you, the government should be able to use cameras to look at everyone's windows at all times.
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    It's the same general concept, but it allows for much further intrusion. It's like saying that just because an officer who looks through your window and sees you breaking the law can enter the house and arrest you, the government should be able to use cameras to look at everyone's windows at all times.
    Ok, thanks for the clarification.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
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    Re: Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest | Threat Level | Wired.com



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    President Obama backs DNA test in arrests - Josh Gerstein - POLITICO.com

    More:

    Interesting to see. This is another fairly large break from what many assumed (fairly or not) would be Obama's approach toward privacy rights and the procedures used in criminal prosecution.
    Aren't they talking about violent offenses and sex offenses?

    I don't think jaywalkers are going to be swabbed...

    If you're pulled over for drunk driving, you either breath, bleed or pee. Remember these people haven't been convicted yet. In fact, those tests are what is most likely going get them off.

    If you're arrested for a sex offense, or other violent crime, we should tag you like an animal--get your DNA and see what else you may have been up to. Get some laws on the books compelling those arrested or indicted for sex offenses and violent crimes to say ahh... If your DNA doesn't match the victim or match the DNA found at the crime, then it's case closed.

    Of course, this raises an interesting self-incrimination question. What if it matches the DNA from 5 other crimes?

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