Supreme Court Considers Whether Government Has Right To Log DNA Samples Of Anyone Arrested

Does your arrest allow the government to access your genetic information? Conservatives, and the Obama administration, say yes. Via CNN:

The U.S. Supreme Court offered a surprising amount of concern about states laws allowing police to collect a DNA sample of anyone arrested — but not yet convicted — of serious crimes. A ruling will be issued within a few months, and could have wide-reaching implications in the rapidly evolving technology surrounding criminal procedure.

Privacy rights groups [say] the state’s “trust us” promise not to abuse the technology does not ease their concerns that someone’s biological makeup could soon be applied for a variety of non-criminal purposes.

“There is something inherently dangerous about DNA collection that is not the same as fingerprinting,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “How far do we let the state go each time it has some form of custody over you in schools, in workplaces, wherever else the state has control over your person?”

And civil liberties groups worry inadequate DNA testing by overwhelmed lab technicians can lead to errors, such as the one that sent Dwayne Jackson to prison for armed robbery. It was three years before a lab mistake was noticed, and the Nevada man was freed as an innocent man.

The current conservative majority court has generally been supportive of law enforcement in recent search and privacy disputes, but not always. The Obama administration has signaled its support. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said in 2010, of expanding DNA swabs for arrestees. “This is where the national registry becomes so important.”

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  • Ittabena

    That’s what I like about today’s Supreme Court, too little and too late. You know which way they are going to go on this. The way that the majority of this Republic’s citizens doesn’t want them to go. And since our POTUS is a Republican in Democratic clothes, I am sure the Supreme’s will give him the background singing he wants.

  • Ittabena

    That’s what I like about today’s Supreme Court, too little and too late. You know which way they are going to go on this. The way that the majority of this Republic’s citizens doesn’t want them to go. And since our POTUS is a Republican in Democratic clothes, I am sure the Supreme’s will give him the background singing he wants.

    • charlieprimero

      Do you honestly believe there are actually two different political parties in the United States?

      • Andrew

        Do you honestly believe all power-hungry sociopaths work together?

        • Juan

          Good point, Andrew. Not they clearly do not.
          But, to paraphrase Gore Vidal, it is also true that in the US you’ve one political party with two right wings.

      • Ittabena

        More like one Party, two teams.

      • MoralDrift

        Two parties: TWICE THE DEMOCRACY

  • saint_al

    Obama IS a conservative, just not on (some) social issues & only half-heartedly on most. Can’t wait for his lobbyist buddies in Israel to start that war w/ Iran they’re just itching for. Sheesh.

  • saint_al

    Obama IS a conservative, just not on (some) social issues & only half-heartedly on most. Can’t wait for his lobbyist buddies in Israel to start that war w/ Iran they’re just itching for. Sheesh.

  • Anarchy Pony

    The worst part will be when they sell your genetic code to monsanto, who will then sue you for patent infringement when you have a kid.

    • http://www.zazzle.com/fantoccini* Chaos_Dynamics

      Unless it is approved insemination (artificial or natural) where Monsanto will collect a licensing fee for the right of reproduction and for ownership of the organism itself upon emergence.

    • http://www.zazzle.com/fantoccini* Chaos_Dynamics

      Unless it is approved insemination (artificial or natural) where Monsanto will collect a licensing fee for the right of reproduction and for ownership of the organism itself upon emergence.

  • BuzzCoastin

    Does Big Homelander have the right to take your DNA?
    He’s already got ya by the balls, what’s a little DNA in that case?

  • Dick

    They won’t take mine. I have the right to own guns. Oh wait…

  • marvin nubwaxer

    they have mine from a felony arrest that was immediately dropped. that sample should disappear.

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