Saturday, June 08, 2013

DNA Samples Allowed by U.S. Supreme Court

In Maryland v King the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that upon arrest of a felony charge the police can take DNA samples. The decision has been seen as a challenge to the 4th Amendment by some and as a boost to crime fighting by others. Supporters of the DNA sampling decision view DNA as similar to finger prints which are part of all arrests. Those who disagree, like Justice Scalia, believe "your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason''.

In Massachusetts, Chapter 22E, Section 3 of the General Laws requires anyone convicted of a felony to submit a DNA sample. A House bill has been sent to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary that would change the requiring a sample if convicted to requiring a sample if arrested for a felony. Currently 28 states have the requirement of DNA sampling when arrested for a felony.