Wednesday, June 3, 2009

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES POLICE CAN TAKE DNA SAMPLES WITHOUT A WARRANT

CNET - In the first case of its type, a federal judge in California has ruled that police can forcibly take DNA samples, including drawing blood with a needle, from Americans who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory Hollows ruled that a federal law allowing DNA samples upon arrest for a felony was constitutional and did not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of "unreasonable searches and seizures."

Hollows, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, said the procedure was no more invasive or worrisome than fingerprinting or a photograph. "The court agrees that DNA sampling is analogous to taking fingerprints as part of the routine booking process upon arrest," he wrote, calling it "a law enforcement tool that is a technological progression from photographs and fingerprints."

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