Monday, June 3, 2013

Supreme Court Upholds DNA Swabbing of People Under Arrest

Supreme Court upholds DNA swabbing of people under arrest

And here I thought my WTH? moment happened earlier in the day! 

The ruling was 5-4 with conservative Justice Antoin Scalia joining liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
The five justices in the majority ruled that DNA sampling, after an arrest “for a serious offense” and when officers “bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody,” does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches. 
Under those specifications, the court said, “taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”
While DNA testing may not be deemed an unreasonable search, there is no definition of a "serious offense". What exactly is a "serious offense"? Speeding? Jaywalking? Kicking puppies? Driving while Black? Occupy Wall Street? Protesting?

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