by Shepard Ambellas
June 3, 2013
Law enforcement agencies in all 50 states are legally approved to do DNA testing on criminal felons and have been doing so for years. By collecting criminals DNA in databases that can be referenced later at a future time, law enforcement has a better chance of solving crimes.
However, 26 of the 50 states have taken it a step further, taking DNA samples from criminal suspects ‘not yet convicted’ in blatant violation of the United States Constitution.
So is this a violation of the 4th Amendment?
Not anymore, as the Supreme Court just ruled Monday (in a 5-4 decision), that states can continue to take DNA samples from criminal suspects, even before conviction. Which means, yes Americans, you now live in a fascist dictatorship as you have no rights. The powers-that-be don’t even need laws (set to their advantage) anymore, as they were already doing it to began with. It’s right smack dab in your face and they don’t care, nor do most Americans.
The courts are now equating DNA to fingerprints. Stephen C. Webster wrote, “The ruling affirms that DNA can be used as an identifying marker for individuals, much in the same way fingerprints and footprints have been used for decades. “When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” the court’s majority wrote.
Justice Scalia, however, penned a scathing rebuke of the court’s majority, calling it an “incursion upon the Fourth Amendment” and the first step toward a “genetic panopticon” society.
“Today’s judgment will, to be sure, have the beneficial effect of solving more crimes; then again, so would the taking of DNA samples from anyone who flies on an airplane (surely the Transportation Security Administration needs to know the ‘identity’ of the flying public), applies for a driver’s license, or attends a public school,” he wrote. “Perhaps the construction of such a genetic panopticon is wise. But I doubt that the proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection.”
Scalia added that Maryland state law appears to prohibit collection and testing of DNA as a means of identifying people, given that other simpler and faster means are available. “I hope that Maryland officials who read the Court’s opinion do not take it seriously,” he wrote. “Acting on the Court’s misperception of Maryland law could lead to jail time.”
The case sprang from the arrest of Alonzo King Jr. on an assault charge four years ago, when police in Maryland took a DNA swab before he’d been convicted. King’s DNA was matched to evidence collected during an investigation of a rape in 2003 approximately three months later, leading to his conviction and subsequent life sentence. His attorneys challenged the search on Fourth Amendment grounds.”
One thing is for sure, this most recent decision by the Supreme Court will not be the last that infringes on our civil rights in America. The surprises just keep coming. But is all of this truly a surprise?
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