Orange County, California, has implemented a new program, offering to drop misdemeanor charges in exchange for a sample of your DNA and a $75 processing fee. Anyone accepting the deal walks out the same day without having to enter a plea. Obviously this is a one time offer – once the county has your DNA on file, its safe to assume future arrests will be subject to prosecution. The program has been running quietly since late last year and so far the county has collected DNA samples from over 4000 people.
Not surprising, the idea has come under attack both from civil libertarians, concerned about privacy rights, and law enforcement advocates worried about diminishing the ability of the police to enforce the laws. The LA Times has the full story here.