The Supreme Court decided this Monday that in the event of a police arrest, they can subject the suspects to a DNA sample by way of a cheek swab to add to their "jailhouse procedures" at the time of an arrest such as fingerprinting or having their photograph taken. According to Justice Anthony Kennedy, they believe a DNA swab is a reasonable procedure to conduct that still keeps the peoples Fourth Amendment rights. The vote was a five Justice majority. The four justices' who are opposed to the DNA swabbing, claim that this is going to change entirely the process of the justice system because if you are arrested, whether you are innocent or guilty, your name will then be added into the national database. They address the fact that while this may help solve a few extra crimes here and there, this will make it so that you're DNA is easily accessible even more so than now.
According to reports, the federal court and 28 states hold that DNA tests can be taken upon arrest. However, the state of Maryland, for example, is among those that are against this as seen in a recent court ruling in which the Judge said a suspects DNA could only be taken if there was sufficient reason for doing so, as stated under the Fourth Amendment. Their current law for DNA collection at arrest is only for those accused for serious crimes like rape or
murder or other
violent crimes. Justice Kennedy, however, has not explicitly stated whether this new law for DNA collection will be limited to specifically violent crimes, or for any arrest. The Maryland case was for a rape conviction that occurred in 2003, and because the high court overruled Maryland DNA collection laws, this man's life sentencing conviction for rape was reinstated.
If you have been arrested for a violent crime, or any other criminal activity, please contact a trusted and experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney at Thomas & Paulk, P.A. today to fight for your freedom!