Legal News

Supreme Court to Decide Legality of DNA Collection by Officers
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

On Friday, an announcement was made by the Supreme Court that it is going to determine the legality of police officers being able to obtain DNA samples from suspects they arrest. The ruling could have implications across the country on privacy versus public safety, according to the Washington Post.

The Supreme Court justices will be reviewing a decision by a Maryland court that banned the warrantless collection of DNA from suspects who have yet to be convicted of a crime. This procedure is used across the country by officers in the hopes of cracking cases. The federal government and 27 states have laws in effect that permit collecting DNA from those arrested who have yet to be convicted of a crime.

  
What
Where


In 2009, the state of Maryland started to collect DNA samples from suspects arrested for violent crimes. One of those arrested was Alonzo King Jr. and officers discovered that his DNA matched that of a rapist from 2003 in Salisbury, Maryland. King was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of the 2003 crime.

King decided to challenge his conviction by claiming that officers who collected his DNA prior to being convicted of a crime was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizures. The top court in Maryland agreed with King, saying that “King’s expectation of privacy is greater than the state’s purported interest in using his DNA to identify him for purposes of his 10 April 2009 arrest on the assault charges.”

The ruling was recently blocked by Chief Justice John Roberts and has permitted officers to continue acquiring DNA samples pending the review of the Supreme Court. To date, federal appeals courts have sided on the behalf of police officers, who claim that the DNA samples help add to a database that aides law enforcement officials.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Other rulings include one handed down in February by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The court ruled that law enforcement officials in California can continue to acquire DNA samples from those arrested for felonies. The court said that this practice can continue because privacy issues are outweighed by the interest officers have in solving cold cases, exonerating wrongly accused and identifying suspects.

Another ruling came from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia back in the month of July. The court overturned a ruling from a judge in a lower court who said that the practice is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy when collecting DNA from suspects who have yet to be convicted.



The Supreme Court is scheduled to argue the case early in 2013.



 

RELEVANT JOBS

Attorney

USA-CA-Westlake Village

Small, congenial, well-established Westlake Village, CA, law firm seeking attorney with minimum 10+ ...

Apply now

Legal Assistant

USA-MS-Tupelo

Position Lancaster Law Firm is seeking a full-time legal assistant. The firm assists its clients, p...

Apply now

Part-Time Estate Planning and Elder Law Paralegal

USA-MI-New Baltimore

Chawla Legal Group is looking for an experienced paralegal to help expand into the worlds of probate...

Apply now

FAMILY LAW ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY

USA-FL-Tampa

Seeking a Family Law Associate Attorney with minimum 3-5 years experience in Family Law.  Candi...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Real Estate Attorney

USA-SC-North Charleston

North Charleston office of our client seeks real estate attorney with experience. The candidate will...

Apply Now

Senior Family Law Litigation Attorney

USA-CA-Corona

Corona office of our client seeks senior family law litigation attorney with 10+ years of experience...

Apply Now

Transactional Attorney

USA-IA-Iowa City

Iowa City office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks transactional attorney with 2+ y...

Apply Now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top