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Justice Scalia and Supreme Court's Ruling on DNA

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 01:44 pm
Quotation of the Day
"The proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would not have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection."

JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA, in his dissent from the Supreme Court’s ruling that the police may take DNA samples from people arrested in connection with serious crimes.

www.nytimes.com (6/4/2013)
 
InfraBlue
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 01:50 pm
Well, that one threw me for a loop, Scalia, of all people, dissenting.

I really don't see it as much different than having the fingerprints taken of a suspect.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 02:24 pm
@InfraBlue,
I agree, not much different from finger prints. This one doesn't worry me very much.
Miller
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 02:29 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:

Well, that one threw me for a loop, Scalia, of all people, dissenting.

I really don't see it as much different than having the fingerprints taken of a suspect.


If the DNA sample is taken from inside the mouth, it would be considered to be invasive. Ffingerprints are not invasive as they are on the outside skin layer of the skin.

rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 02:32 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:
If the DNA sample is taken from inside the mouth, it would be considered to be invasive. Ffingerprints are not invasive as they are on the outside skin layer of the skin.

That's not invasive by my definition, certainly no more than fingerprinting, which is more tedious and messy in my experience.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 09:00 pm
It's slightly more invasive. Once you give a sample so, in effect, have all your relatives. Can't say the same for fingerprints.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 03:41 pm
Consider it just like a background check." If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 04:03 pm
@mysteryman,
Don't really need a 4th amendment then, do we?
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 05:42 pm
You can do a lot more with DNA than with finger prints. Once you are in the system they can run you against a whole series of crimes even if you are not suspected of committing them. I can't see demanding a DNA sample if you are taken in for speeding, shoplifting or any host of small misdemeanors.
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 05:49 pm
@engineer,
[img][/img]And it would catch people that thought they had gotten away with serious crimes also.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 05:53 pm
@roger,
The quote I used has been used to defend expanded background checks for gun owners.
Doesn't the 4th amendment apply in both cases, or are you picking and choosing when it applies.
Rockhead
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 06:25 pm
I think if you are CONVICTED of a major crime, they should automatically run your DNA against the database.

but otherwise I don't approve of unsubstantiated fishing expeditions.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 06:34 pm
@mysteryman,
Explain the connection, if you don't mind.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 07:02 pm
DNA is not the same as fingerprints.

Interestingly, Barry Scheck, founder of The Innocence Project, sides with Scalia. You can hear his comments on a video in the link below.

Quote:
The case has sparked a robust dialogue surrounding a suspected criminal’s right to privacy. The 4th Amendment of the Constitution states that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” Dissenters of the decision believe that without a warrant, DNA sampling breaches an individual’s rights to privacy.

On All In with Chris Hayes Monday, attorney Barry Scheck sided with Scalia’s emphasis on privacy rights for Americans. Scheck, founder of The Innocence Project, an organization that helps prisoners prove their innocence through DNA testing, explained after the show why he falls on the side of the Supreme Court. Considering Scheck’s life work in exonerating prisoners, what makes him disagree with this use of the practice? Check out the video to find out his answer.
http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/06/05/attorney-barry-scheck-on-taking-dna-from-suspected-criminals-2/


In addition to Scheck's reservations, others are concerned with overloading the DNA database, and unnecessarily contributing to the DNA backlog at the expense of taking DNA from actual crime scenes..
Quote:

DNA testing has led to the exoneration of more than 300 people wrongly convicted of crimes. Yet the technology is far from fulfilling its promise of aiding law enforcement to identify criminals and letting the innocent go free. A Department of Justice study estimated that around 900,000 requests for biological screening, mostly DNA testing, were backlogged nationally at the end of 2009, the most recent year for which data is available. Meanwhile, large numbers of kits from routine arrests may be making the problem worse, argued Brandon Garrett, a professor at University of Virginia School of Law.

“As taking more DNA from arrestees has increased, the backlogs have increased at the expense of testing DNA from actual crime scenes,” he said.

Garrett also said that simply adding a DNA sample from everyone who is arrested might even make it harder for police to identify criminals, increasing the likelihood of false positives without adding any perpetrators to the system.

“A lot of innocent people will have their DNA in these databases,” he said. “That dilutes the databases and weakens their power.” He argued that since many criminals have prior convictions, taking samples only from convicts would be more efficient. The state’s constitutional authority to take samples from convicts is not disputed.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2013/06/04/after-the-supreme-courts-dna-decision-what-is-the-future-of-criminal-justice/


According to Barry Scheck, in unsolved crimes, it's important to take DNA from the crime scene, and have it analyzed within a week or so, and then enter it into the forensic database. If the system is very backlogged, with samples from innocent people, it may become more difficult to find the guilty because analysis of crime scene DNA will become too bogged down..
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 07:12 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
I agree, not much different from finger prints. This one doesn't worry me very much.

Fingerprints, when used for identification, are run against a database that keys fingerprints to a known person. To run them against a database for unsolved crimes, after an arrest for an entirely different crime, would be unconstitutional. The Fourth Amendment prohibits that the government go on such fishing expeditions to solve crimes.

Maryland took an arrested man's DNA and ran it against a database of unsolved crimes, crimes unrelated to the one it had arrested him for. So yes, there isn't much difference between DNA and fingerprints. It's an unconstitutional fishing expedition either way.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 07:18 pm
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:
Doesn't the 4th amendment apply in both cases, or are you picking and choosing when it applies.

The Fourth Amendment applies to searches and seizures intended to solve crimes. It does not apply to background checks on people who want to buy a gun, and who would be a danger to the public if they became gun-carrying criminals, psycho-killers, and spouse-abusers.

So the answer to your question is "no". No, roger is not picking and choosing.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jun, 2013 07:24 pm
The states are still free to decide whether they’ll use the authority that Monday’s decision secured for them. I think individual states can choose to require warrants before the DNA samples can be taken.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 04:05 am
Report: Secret court order forces Verizon to turn over telephone records of millions: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/politics/nsa-verizon-records/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

I'm far more concerned about that type of stuff (and the Patriot Act in general) than I am about DNA versus Fingerprints.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 07:18 am
@rosborne979,
That's fair. It is far more concerning.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 07:22 am
@rosborne979,
How can DNA sampling be avoided if there is reasonable cause to suspect a potential perp?
 

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