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Monday, July 25, 2011

Federal court: If you're arrested, officials can take a DNA sample

From the CSMonitor.com:
A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that forcing criminal suspects to provide a DNA sample upon arrest – and prior to any conviction – does not violate constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The Third US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8 to 6 that a federal statute authorizing the warrantless collection of DNA samples from every person entering the federal criminal justice system was “reasonable and does not violate the Fourth Amendment.”

“Given the record in front of us today, we conclude that a DNA profile is used solely as an accurate, unique, identifying marker – in other words, as fingerprints for the 21st century,” wrote Circuit Judge Julio Fuentes in the majority opinion.

The six dissenting judges said forcing arrested suspects to surrender a DNA sample to the government is a “severe” intrusion of privacy.

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