Skip to comments.9th Circuit rules DNA testing can be required before release on bail
Posted on 09/14/2010 3:19:27 PM PDT by SmithL
In the first decision of its kind in the nation, an appellate court has ruled in a Sacramento case that DNA testing is a legitimate condition of release on bail for a federal defendant not yet convicted.
Before a federal felony can be charged, there must be probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, a three-judge panel of the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted in Tuesday's 47-page opinion.
Under those circumstances, the panel ruled, the government's interest in definitively identifying the defendant "outweighs the defendant's privacy interest in giving a DNA sample as a condition of pre-trial release."
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.sacbee.com ...
I think wrong where a physical crime is not involved.
Why not? A DNA test is much like a finger print. People arrested get finger printed...they should have their DNA tested also.
Yeah, I didn't think so....
“Why not? A DNA test is much like a finger print. People arrested get finger printed...they should have their DNA tested also.”
It feels good to support the state doesn’t it? Of course when it’s your turn they won’t have any mercy on you for supporting them. :)
My only concern would be the situation where an individual goes to trail and is found not guilty. There needs to be a means to removing the DNA results.
Could the information become useful to the government for some other reason? (I am not sure what else they can find from DNA but am suspicious of people like Rham Emmanuel having access to any information about me.)
Used to match DNA evidence collected from a rape or violent felony victim - sure. Used to identify the person who licked a stamp on an envelope containing an anonymous complaint letter - I am not so sure.
“There needs to be a means to removing the DNA results.”
Yeah, sure. You know what they do when ordered to remove records? They remove them from their database onto the PC of someone in their shop. They can then say they’ve been removed and the cops still have access to them. Government agencies are not honest in case you didn’t know.
A lot more can be found out through DNA than just your identity.
If they have DNA they want to compare the suspect's against, and probable cause to believe that it is their DNA, then they can get a court order for a DNA sample.
If the prosecutor doesn't have DNA evidence from the specific crime with which they are being charged, then they don't have probable cause to take DNA. The search (in this case acquiring DNA) must be related to the evidence they have justifying that search.
I is hard for me to think of a case where a finger print wouldn't show someone's identity but DNA would. It might show that they committed a crime in a case where they they had DNA evidence, but that is searching for evidence, not simply verifying an identity.
There are ways using security tools and modern encryption to make the records not viewable without the assistance of a supercomputer / NSA
Yeah physically your fingerprints or DNA didn't change but with a "bureaucratic mix-up" or computer glitch they can get a warrant to arrest anyone for anything.
Further if they store physical samples of your DNA then they can plant it at a crime scene and then have a fairly good case against you.
Granted they are supposed to use more than just DNA evidence and such BUT my worry is eventually the Justice System will start relying on DNA as the final word. That worries me greatly!
1984 George Orwell.
The state has a legitimate police power in correctly identifying people. Thus fingerprints are legal, although they were initially challenged. DNA will soon follow as it should.
Having served my country they have my fingerprints. I have no problem with them having my DNA also. And I see no reason those arrested shouldn’t have their DNA collected and stored.
Like others I have some minor concerns as to the abuse of a DNA database, but that’s another argument, and frankly I’ve not seen a compelling argument on potential abuses.
This is a search. We have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches without probable cause for that particular search.
If the case involves DNA evidence and there is probable cause, then the prosecution can get a court order for the DNA based upon that.
The courts have ruled that the government can take our fingerprints when we have been arrested in order to identify us. That is a weakening of our rights because the government has a legitimate need to identify who they have in custody.
Under what circumstances can you imagine where fingerprints would not verify someone's identity, but DNA would. Just verify their identity, not provide evidence that they committed some other crime that the prosecution doesn't have probable cause with which to get the DNA.
If such a circumstance is rare, then there is no reason to weaken the rights of anyone who might be charged with a crime. The prosecutor can argue that it is necessary in that particular case.
We don't weaken our rights just because it might be convenient for the government in some relatively rare cases.
You mean like fingerprints, mugshots and photographs of gang tatoos are huge?
"Used to identify the person who licked a stamp on an envelope containing an anonymous complaint letter - I am not so sure."
You have no expectation of privacy of bodily fluids left on mail, or in other places that it's left in public. If you send a letter to the police, you have no expectation of privacy about the contents of that letter or about the physical letter itself.
But don’t you DARE ask them their immigration status...
It is reasonable that the police need to identify a suspect that they arrest. Under what circumstances would they not be able to identify you with your fingerprints, but they would be able to do so with your DNA?
The need to identify you must be weighed against your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches. It is a constitutional right, so it should only be infringed upon if it is necessary, not because the government wants to collect as much evidence as they can without a warrant. They need to justify why the suspect's identity is in doubt and why DNA might provide their identity when a fingerprint was unable to do so.
The police already have reasonable means by which they can identify suspects, they need to specifically justify why they need this additional method.
If this isn't merely an attempt to acquire new evidence, they should be able to provide DNA evidence related to the specific crime to which he is being charged.
If he is convicted, then it might be reasonable to then collect DNA and see if they can connect him with additional crimes.
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