DNA Testing: Protecting the Public or Violating the 4th?

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Taking the DNA of arrestees, protecting the public or violating the 4th Amendment?

DNA testing is a controversial technology. It has been used as conclusive evidence in countless court cases. It has liberated many incarcerated criminals and convicted many more. It is highly sensitive and tamper-proof. Early laws authorized compulsory extraction of DNA only from people convicted for violent or sex-based felonies, such as murder, kidnapping, and offenses “related to sexual abuse”. However, in recent decades, new laws have greatly extended the scope of compulsory DNA collection from people who have been arrested but not convicted. The practice raises the fundamental question of whether the state violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition of unreasonable search without probable cause when it collects genetic information from suspect before entering them into a government database. Taking the DNA of arrestees, protecting the public or violating the 4th Amendment?

The argument in favor of protecting DNA privacy of people who commit crimes, whether felonies or misdemeanors, is illusory. The saliva swab sampling takes a microscopic amount of DNA, called junk DNA; like a fingerprint, it can be matched to an individual, but it doesn't provide biological information. Civil liberties advocates and lawyers who defend criminals have prevented an expansion of the state DNA databank by arguing the junk DNA sample can somehow divulge other protected information. Scientists have concluded that this is untrue( Gerald para. 2).

Opponents of DNA databases suggest that DNA databases are risk because of the amount of information about private citizens that they put into the control of the government. The most frequent criticism is that the programs violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a right "of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable...
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