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Author Topic: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested  (Read 2462 times)

louie the lumberjack

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I looked at this quite a bit today.

Quote
A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can continue to take DNA from people they arrest without getting a warrant. The court's five-justice majority said DNA testing was a legitimate police arrest procedure, like fingerprinting.
"Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court's five-justice majority.
But the four dissenting justices said that the court was allowing a major change in police powers.
"Make no mistake about it: because of today's decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason," conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said in a sharp dissent which he read aloud in the courtroom.
At least 28 states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. But a Maryland court was one of the first to say that it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King's DNA without approval from a judge, saying King had "a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches."
But the high court's decision reverses that ruling, which will likely allow states to resume and expand the programs. Kennedy wrote the decision, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Scalia was joined in his dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/03/supreme-court-rules-police-can-take-dna-swabs-from-those-arrested/#ixzz2VDC820QV

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I guess a DNA swab is the same as taking fingerprints now?  The screwy part is that Scalia dissented with the liberal wing of the court. :confused

I remember working intake for a few months there was a procedure for booking in an inmate to the jail. 
A lot of it was private information that was surrendered to Coconino County, and no matter if you were being brought in from another facility or just being thrown in the drunk tank, the procedure was the same.  Things sometimes got pretty personal; I won't go to far in depth with how many people I've had to strip search... Is DNA too far though?   I remember one guy that would not blow into the breathalyzer  upon entry.  Now this was used to help determine your condition upon entry, the one the cop arresting you gave you off the side of the highway is what would be admissible in court.  This guy though refused to blow, on the grounds that he did not want me handling his DNA.  I had to get the doc to examine the guy instead.

DNA of course tells more about you than a fingerprint ever will.  On the flip side if your being booked in and have say,  sickle cell anemia, it may be pertinent information to know ahead of time.   Scalia even concedes that many unsolved cases will probably get solved.  Still I tend to lean towards the idea that the negatives here FAR outweigh any potential benefit.  They got this one wrong.  What say you? 

louie the lumberjack
Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

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    rvsix8

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 11:32:48 pm »
    What worries me is that the ruling says they can take your DNA when you get arrested. Not convicted, but simply arrested. Now, I'm not one of those tin foil hat, black helicopter kind of guys, but I can picture this going too far. Think about it: now if a cop arrests you for speeding, or jaywalking, or any of the mundane things that you can be arrested for, boom. DNA is now in the system. It's giving too much power to the .gov. I don't like it. Not one bit.
    « Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 11:47:47 pm by rvsix8 »
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    sarge712

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 01:46:13 am »
    Last year I had to take a class on DNA collecting from arrestees per NC law when serving state warrants. It turns out we don't swab them but instead turn them over to the sherrif's deputies who do it. A mouth swab is done at the same stage of the booking process as photos and printing. If the arrestee refuses to comply, then he is held without bond until he cooperates just like if he refuses to ID himself after he is arrested. Me, I'm indifferent to it. It has its uses like with sex offenders but I can see how it could easily be abused
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    scarville

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 07:44:34 am »
    Like CCTV surveillance, DNA testing will only grow in scope. It is simply too useful to too many politically powerful groups. Eventually the state will just take the DNA at birth.  That would certainly make it easier to solve some crimes. Scan for genes associated with "criminal" behavior or for musical talents or other traits so the children can be raised "properly" (the scare quote are deliberate).  Employers could avoid hiring people with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.  Insurance companies could refuse coverage for breast cancer in women with a defective BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.
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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 08:19:04 am »
    Scalia got it right to object.
    This smacks of a potential 'Gattaca' situation. Valids and Invalids.
    Your entire life splayed out in potential genetics.
    Only the best breeding stock, most perfect people, best and brightest, etc...only handsome men and hottest babes...yeah. Seen the movie...its spot on. Serious cause for a revived Eugenics movement. That is not what anyone wants.

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    rvsix8

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 09:00:30 am »
    I actually have no qualms with DNA samples being taken from convicted murderers, rapists, even bank robbers. People convicted of violent crimes. That way, if they escaped or got released, their DNA would be on record and it might make it easier to catch them if they re-commit. Or, make them re-think commiting a crime since they know their DNA is on record. It might also help solve cold cases.

    Also, how secure is this info? Can it be stolen, or sold to insurance companies and the like? Then we have a situation like some of you discussed. Insurance companies not covering people because of certain genes, or employers not hiring.
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    scarville

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 09:30:01 am »
    Also, how secure is this info? Can it be stolen, or sold to insurance companies and the like? Then we have a situation like some of you discussed. Insurance companies not covering people because of certain genes, or employers not hiring.

    When creating a database on people you can be sure that:

    1. The people creating it will gather more information than they really need for the intended purpose.

    2. The people who control that information will use it for for purposes other than the original intent.

    No law can bind a future Congress. Look at how the use of Social Security data and the SSN has grown.  The Census questionnaires. Gun registration.
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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 10:21:00 am »
    What good reason do we have for keeping data like this on anyone?
    I mean a good reason, not those utilitarian reasons like "it helps us keep track of weeely BAAAAD guys" which is just a good way to trick people into trading real freedom for imagined security. but reasons that free men would allow someone as untrustworthy as a government to keep this data about them on file.

    I can't think of one.

    Sure, keep finger prints and DNA of folks actively incarcerated but that data should be destroyed (along with imho all their criminal records) when they are released having paid their debt to society.

    This kind of mess just yanks my chain no end.

    JackCrow

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 11:47:59 am »
    Welcome to our Brave New World.
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    LJS14

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 03:29:32 pm »
    Welcome to our Brave New World.

    Nothing quite like making it seem normal for the government to know every little detail about you.  :(


    When creating a database on people you can be sure that:

    1. The people creating it will gather more information than they really need for the intended purpose.

    2. The people who control that information will use it for for purposes other than the original intent.

    No law can bind a future Congress. Look at how the use of Social Security data and the SSN has grown.  The Census questionnaires. Gun registration.


    I don't like the possibility of a DNA check when you apply for a job or make a large transaction.
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    louie the lumberjack

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 10:03:05 pm »
    Scalia got it right to object.
    This smacks of a potential 'Gattaca' situation. Valids and Invalids.
    Your entire life splayed out in potential genetics.
    Only the best breeding stock, most perfect people, best and brightest, etc...only handsome men and hottest babes...yeah. Seen the movie...its spot on. Serious cause for a revived Eugenics movement. That is not what anyone wants.

    Sent from my LG-LS855 using Tapatalk 2

    I like that movie, nice story of triumph over adversity. I agree that's about as as scary a possibility  as this could get, but a tad far fetched.  I honestly can see some Bloomberg protege creating a comprehensive (they seem to like that word nowadays) public health system based on genetic records.  Gluten allergy? Can't sell you that bowl of pasta, but how about a salad?  High risk for heart disease?  No bacon for you, how about a salad?  High probability of diabetes?  No go on that donut, how about a salad? 

    louie the lumberjack
    Arizona"We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared, so we will always be free" -Ronald Regan

    Gunnguy

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #11 on: June 04, 2013, 10:21:59 pm »
    Ok everyone, brain check time.
    1) When has there ever been a Gubmint program or agency that has NOT EVAR been used, has ever abused, or expanded it's previous limitations to authoritarian new levels of corruption?

    My Answer?

    Never!
    They have all been used and abused to political ends and corruption deep inside the beltway.
    IRS, FBI, Treasury, EPA, State Dept., CBO, FBO, All US Military Branches, Military Industrial Complax, SS, VA, Medicare/Medicaid, and on and on...ad naseum.
    I say we stick with the original US Constitutional Limits on Gubmint and eliminate all other Agencies and Bureacracies that have NO place or mention in the US Constitution.
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    scarville

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #12 on: June 05, 2013, 08:59:53 am »
    Another consideration is that, as sequencing continues to get cheaper, it will become possible to completely sequence the samples taken from arrestees. That information will be available to a defense attorney. Assuming that scientific knowledge of how genes affect behavior continues to grow, I can easily see a future "genetic predisposition" defense. We already have an insanity plea and battered woman syndrome so there is no reason not to at least consider a bad-genes defense.

    If Abel can make a utilitarian argument, so can Cain.
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    rvsix8

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    Re: Supreme Court rules police can take DNA swabs from those arrested
    « Reply #13 on: June 05, 2013, 09:24:37 am »
    This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but how soon until we enter into a society like the one in Minority Report. Oh, Citizen X has the genes that make him "pre-disposed" to robbery/rape/murder. He needs to be locked up before he can commit a crime. And just like that, there goes the Constitution. Well, even more than it already is.
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