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Any criminal charge could be paired with DNA sample

Anyone facing serious accusations and/or arrest in Connecticut understands how difficult and stressful it can be to deal with this type of situation. Many times, individuals are made to feel as though they’re guilty of some crime even before criminal charges are issued. And now some are concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court may be condoning such prejudicial treatment by passing a law that could potentially leave millions of Americans subject to DNA tests.

The federal government already has a database in place to collect and screen DNA samples. These samples are used to investigate cold cases throughout the country. Currently, authorities in 26 states are authorized to obtain DNA samples from anyone being arrested for serious or felony offenses like assault. However, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling allows all states to adopt such policies.

The decision to expand the use of DNA testing is one example of the type of contemporary issues the Supreme Court is addressing. While the U.S. Constitution does allow for some degree of interpretation, many find it increasingly difficult to reconcile modern investigative processes with traditional understandings of citizens’ rights.

Those opposing the new law include four Supreme Court justices. Their disapproval is based on the understanding that subjecting individuals to DNA samples infringes on their constitutional rights. Likewise, other opponents claim that the concept of using DNA from one case to solve another may result in false charges.

Many supporters of the new nation-wide measure, including a Supreme Court justice, contend that requiring DNA upon arrest is the same as taking a person’s fingerprints. However, there is great concern by many that obtaining this kind of evidence equates to an unlawful search and infringement of one’s Fourth Amendment right.     

Source: USA Today, “Supreme Court OKs DNA swab for people under arrest,” Richard Wolf, June 3, 2013