DNA Sampling — For Everyone?

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5 Responses

  1. KipEsquire says:

    I don’t see how expanding DNA databases helps acquit the innocent. If I’m falsely accused and there is DNA evidence of the truly guilty party, then I will simply volunteer a sample of my own for comparison, just as I would produce any other exculpatory evidence. “Improving the database” has nothing to do with it.

  2. PK says:

    Is the routine collection of this kind of personal identifying information from arrestees reasonable under the Fourth Amendment? It seems that the police have a valid interest in identifying who they’ve arrested, so fingerprinting makes sense to a certain extent. But how is this routine collection of DNA reasonably related to the investigation of every crime?

  3. I hope this does get challenged under Fourth Amendment, and under general privacy concerns in the legislature. Fingerprints of innocents, pervasive surveillance cameras, “digital dossiers”, and now DNA. How much freedom will we have left to love?

    DNA (like fingerprints and retinas) can’t be changed like a password when it gets compromised, and can be abused in so many ways.

  4. I have no problem with convicted felons being put in a DNA database; am more ambivalent about arrestees and not at all thrilled about a universal database.

    I am however amused that despite that we are required to report annually where we live and what we did with our lives the previous year to a Federal AND State government agency; despite that we cannot give a dollar to any Federal office candidate without disclosing who we are, where we live and how much we give…and we better have not given too much; despite all that, a swab of saliva is what gets so-called civil libertarians so excited.

  5. Sigivald says:

    The question being, of course, whether it’s an “unreasonable” search and seizure or not.

    As there are no guidelines in the Constitution for what constitutes a “reasonable” search or seizure (let alone in the context of technology not even imagined in 1789), it’s impossible to say in a clear and obvious way whether or not it’s Constitutional.

    It might well be a terrible idea from a civil liberties point of view even if it’s Constitutionally permissible; too many people constantly make the (unconscious?) assumption that the Constitutional and the Right are isomorphic. (Big fancy talk for “the same”, really.)