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Thread: Supreme Court ruling on DNA samples taken without warrant

  1. #1

    Default Supreme Court ruling on DNA samples taken without warrant

    Supreme Court: DNA Samples Can Be Taken From Arrestees Without Warrant

    What are people's thoughts on this? Do you consider it just another means of identification, like a fingerprint or photo? When and where do we stop taking DNA samples? Do we do it for only violent crimes? What about misdemeanor things like traffic violations? Or do we have DNA become a de facto standard for identification for everything, requiring it to enroll children in schools, open a bank account, etc.?

    On top of this, what about the case that sparked this off? The law in the state where it originated allowed for a DNA sample to be taken for any arrest for a violent crime. The original arrest of the man involved was for a violent crime, during which the police took a DNA sample that was later used to link the man to an unsolved rape and robbery case. After all of that happened, the original arrest case was plead down to a lesser crime that would not have had a DNA sample taken. So should the DNA sample be thrown out?

    Very interesting Constitutional arguments here.

  2. #2

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    I find it difficult to believe that I'm in agreement with Antonin Scalia, and yet here we are. This has very frightening implications for privacy rights as far as I'm concerned. I mean, now the police can literally invade our bodies to gather evidence, and they don't need a warrant to do it. The right to be secure in our persons? Pfft, whatever. That's inconvenient. Open your mouth, fucker! There might be evidence inside!

    I mean, if police have a suspicion one has committed a murder, then that seems like a reasonable cause to get a warrant to gather the evidence. Invading my body for your convenience is not reasonable, or at least it shouldn't be. Then again, in a sane world DUI checkpoints would not be legal either. I suppose this is just another example of the really interesting contortions the Supreme Court will do to piss on the 4th Amendment.

  3. #3

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    I feel what will happen in time will be that DNA will be taken after all felony arrests. Later on look for politicians make it a requirement at birth and part of your permanent birth record.
    If it would become part of a permanent birth record I'm not against that if it would be stored along with a birth certificate in the state capital. But require that law enforcement
    get search warrant if they need it for a crime.

  4. #4
    CrinklySiren

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    Is it weird that i don't see anything wrong with this? I mean its not as if getting a DNA sample without a warrant would do anything but waste our time if we are innocent, also its not as if getting a DNA sample is painful or difficult to obtain. I mean this looks like one of those "if you didnt do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" situations, as well as something that could present evidence beyond a reasonable doubt... I have no doubts that if someone's DNA was matched with, say, a towel in a crime scene (among other DNA samples), a trial would still be had to determine why that sample was traced back to the scene because there is still room for elaboration, and besdies, DNA is everywhere.

    If i am suspected of a crime I didnt commit and they want to get DNA from me to see if I match the DNA found? I don't see anything wrong with that because the only way it would possibly match is if someone went out of their way to frame me... but life doesn't work that way unless you are rich with enemies... and even that very rarely happens. I think the issue with situations like this is that we all put ourselves in a position in which we feel violated... but for the greater good it seems like something that would be efficient if we stop thinking of ourselves as victims to the government... its clear that this is not a blatant attempt at removing our civil rights but simply just a way to come to a definite conclusion in crime solving.

    I mean it isn't as bad as the NDAA provisions.. but then again maybe im just being naive :P

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZooeySis View Post
    Is it weird that i don't see anything wrong with this? I mean its not as if getting a DNA sample without a warrant would do anything but waste our time if we are innocent, also its not as if getting a DNA sample is painful or difficult to obtain. I mean this looks like one of those "if you didnt do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" situations, as well as something that could present evidence beyond a reasonable doubt... I have no doubts that if someone's DNA was matched with, say, a towel in a crime scene (among other DNA samples), a trial would still be had to determine why that sample was traced back to the scene because there is still room for elaboration, and besdies, DNA is everywhere.

    If i am suspected of a crime I didnt commit and they want to get DNA from me to see if I match the DNA found? I don't see anything wrong with that because the only way it would possibly match is if someone went out of their way to frame me... but life doesn't work that way unless you are rich with enemies... and even that very rarely happens. I think the issue with situations like this is that we all put ourselves in a position in which we feel violated... but for the greater good it seems like something that would be efficient if we stop thinking of ourselves as victims to the government... its clear that this is not a blatant attempt at removing our civil rights but simply just a way to come to a definite conclusion in crime solving.

    I mean it isn't as bad as the NDAA provisions.. but then again maybe im just being naive :P
    So what if it is? Rights are rights, and we should not be allowing their erosion just because "if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide." I don't care how convenient this makes police work, and I don't care how innocent or guilty the persons being subjected to this DNA sampling are. I care that it's happening, because it should not be happening. We have a constitution that says it should not be happening in what seems to be very plain language.

    And if getting a DNA sample is "reasonable," then what's next? Blood work? It's not hard to jab someone with a needle and draw out some blood. Oops, you got picked up because you never paid that traffic ticket and now there's a bench warrant out for you. Warrant? Fuck warrants, open your mouth and hold tight while we jab you with this needle. There's evidence in there!

    Let me make it plain that I have no issue with there being a DNA database. I have issue with samples being obtained without a warrant. I have issue with government representatives being able to physically invade my body without a warrant. I have issue with the creeping power of the police to do whatever the fuck they want without worrying about the inconveniences posed by the Constitution. I do not think it's unreasonable that police should have to convince a judge that they have a valid reason to invade the body of the person in their custody (as in getting a warrant). They can't legally come in my house without a warrant but they can come into my body without one? This makes no sense to me.

  6. #6
    CrinklySiren

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    So what if it is? Rights are rights, and we should not be allowing their erosion just because "if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide." I don't care how convenient this makes police work, and I don't care how innocent or guilty the persons being subjected to this DNA sampling are. I care that it's happening, because it should not be happening. We have a constitution that says it should not be happening in what seems to be very plain language.

    And if getting a DNA sample is "reasonable," then what's next? Blood work? It's not hard to jab someone with a needle and draw out some blood. Oops, you got picked up because you never paid that traffic ticket and now there's a bench warrant out for you. Warrant? Fuck warrants, open your mouth and hold tight while we jab you with this needle. There's evidence in there!

    Let me make it plain that I have no issue with there being a DNA database. I have issue with samples being obtained without a warrant. I have issue with government representatives being able to physically invade my body without a warrant. I have issue with the creeping power of the police to do whatever the fuck they want without worrying about the inconveniences posed by the Constitution. I do not think it's unreasonable that police should have to convince a judge that they have a valid reason to invade the body of the person in their custody (as in getting a warrant). They can't legally come in my house without a warrant but they can come into my body without one? This makes no sense to me.

    But see you are making the assumption that I, by agreeing with this gesture, would allow ALL the possible following procedures... what I'm trying to say is that we can't just assume that this will lead to WORSE. I mean DNA attainment is as simple as swabbing a cuetip in your mouth... i hardly see that as invasive, and the devil is in the details as well; there is a level of professionalism and courtesy that would need to follow the obligatory obtainment of DNA, which police and law enforcement agencies already LACK. Now if we were to assume that this means people would barge into our homes and hold us down while they swab our mouths than I would disagree, but if we can be civilized about these things i dont see the problem. We also cant assume that this will be applied to ALL crimes including petty ones like traffic tickets -_- DNA is not needed for such things and to assume they would just do it for a kick is alarmist.

    Now if it escalated to blood work and all that then I would disagree, but I wasn't given the opportunity to voice my opinion on that, i was only giving my opinion on the current discussion. I mean it can be said that having a warrant to enter your home could be used to fight againt a non-warrant DNA retrieval, if you are in your house, they cant enter and get DNA from you... But honestly, if I were ever in the situation in which DNA was the only thing that could prove me innocent, or the only thing that can prove some asshole killed someone I love, then I would definitely want it to happen without even THINKING about a warrant. We have to remove ourselves from the idea that we are being wronged... there are much worse things (as you mentioned) that could be taking place... this one (in my opinion at least) doesn't rub me in such a wrong way as, for example, the Patriot Act does.

    EDIT: also, realize that this is obtaining DNA from Arestees.. as in "people under arrest", not random citizens who forget to pay for one parking ticket... if you get arrested for having 20 unpaid parking tickets, then the blame falls on you... if this were a case in which ANYONE ANYWHERE can get DNA tested without a warrant then clearly there is something wrong, but its not. But even still, suggesting that they would take DNA from you for something as fool-proof as unpaid parking tickets, is extreme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    The original arrest of the man involved was for a violent crime, during which the police took a DNA sample that was later used to link the man to an unsolved rape and robbery case. After all of that happened, the original arrest case was plead down to a lesser crime that would not have had a DNA sample taken. So should the DNA sample be thrown out?

    See, there are things about the judicial system that i will never understand.. and this is one of those things, as well as the "statute of limitations" for things like rape, it just makes no sense to throw out a rape just because "oh its been x amount of years", "but we finally got the guy!!!" "nope, too late".


    it just seems ridiculous to me :P

  7. #7

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    I don't have any problem with this at all for the most part. My only question is, if someone is arrested and they have their DNA taken, but then are proven innocent in a court of law or have their charges dropped, can they request that their DNA be taken off of the DNA database?

  8. #8

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    The 4th amend ment was written at a time when e police barging into your house was the only way of looking for evidence. Now it's a tongue swab and fingerprinting, and except for ink on your hand, which can be washed off, you are inconspicuous to gossiping neighbours.

    Not being American I can't really say, but I want a DNA database o be in my country, it would allow for easy crime construction and solving by police, and guessing whose prints it is BEFORE ratifying makes no sense, and, only previous criminals prints are held.

    Another point is that they can only ARREST you with probable cause (or wording to that extent), and if you are guilty enough to be remanded into custody, you are guilty enough to be checked for crimes.

    Also, if you are innocent,this would bring DOWN false arrests and the length of time taken to move through the system.

  9. #9
    Astra

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZooeySis View Post
    EDIT: also, realize that this is obtaining DNA from Arestees.. as in "people under arrest", not random citizens who forget to pay for one parking ticket... if you get arrested for having 20 unpaid parking tickets, then the blame falls on you... if this were a case in which ANYONE ANYWHERE can get DNA tested without a warrant then clearly there is something wrong, but its not. But even still, suggesting that they would take DNA from you for something as fool-proof as unpaid parking tickets, is extreme.
    There are plenty of circumstances where the police can arrest people without a warrant. If the police think someone is guilty of murder but don't have proof, they now have the power to arrest him for some BS reason just to get his DNA. I have no doubt they'll eventually do just that. It'll probably start with a serial killer case where there's a public outcry and people are willing to overlook procedural abuses in order to catch the guy. Then once the precedent has been set, they'll start doing it with other murders and rapes, then with felonies in general, and finally what's left of the 4th Amendment will vaporize.

  10. #10
    CrinklySiren

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astra View Post
    . I have no doubt they'll eventually do just that. It'll probably start with a serial killer case where there's a public outcry and people are willing to overlook procedural abuses in order to catch the guy. Then once the precedent has been set, they'll start doing it with other murders and rapes, then with felonies in general, and finally what's left of the 4th Amendment will vaporize.
    While this is a plausible worry to have, i have hope that society still harbors some kind of rationality to prevent this from happening, and even if it doesn't and they cry out for blood, I still don't think it would happen; hence the reason why something like this hasn't occurred in the past while numerous cop drama shows played with the idea plenty of times since the early 2000's.

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