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Supreme Court rules DNA swabbing of arrestees is legal

The U.S. Supreme Court this week found that police can collect DNA samples from people that they arrest. They can also hold that DNA sample and submit it to databases, which might then be used to link a person to other alleged crimes from the past or in the future. The court said that this practice is a modern-day version of fingerprinting.

The original case that the Supreme Court ruled on was a case in another state where a man was convicted of a sexual assault after police used his DNA sample from another case as evidence in the case heard by the Supreme Court.

Because of the Court ruling this week, people across the country may now have their DNA collected by police, although this was already happening in many states, even if the people aren't convicted of a crime they were arrested for allegedly committing. Sometimes people are arrested, and their isn't enough evidence in a case for a conviction. However, if a DNA sample was taken, it could then be used to convict them of a future crime, or a previously unsolved crime.

One of the Justices that disagreed with the opinion of the majority compared this procedure to collecting DNA swabs from everyone who flew on an airplane.

Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney after an arrest might be a wise decision. This can help ensure the person's rights are protected and they are able to form a rigorous defense. A rigorous defense can help ensure the person has a fair trial.

Source: USA Today, "Supreme Court OKs DNA swab of people under arrest," Richard Wolf, June 3, 2013

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