Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Supreme Court to Rule on Police Access to DNA Samples For "Crime-Fighting Databases"

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

As the US Supreme Court meets privately over the next few days, it seems that all of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together in order to form what will undeniably be the most scientifically advanced dictatorship ever realized in world history.

Supreme Court Justices are currently meeting in private for the purpose of deciding whether or not to hear a highly important genetic privacy case regarding the possibility that government authority extends to taking DNA samples from anyone arrested for “serious” crimes. If the court rules in favor of the prosecutors who wish for greater access to DNA samples, convictions will not be necessary to require DNA from arrestees.

As David Kravetz writes for Wired, at least 21 states and the federal government have policies and laws requiring suspects to give DNA samples upon their arrest. In these states, DNA saliva samples are added into state and federal “crime-fighting databases,” effectively creating a catalog of individuals and their most personal information, even those not guilty of committing a crime.

Kravetz writes, “The issue confronts the government’s interest in solving crime, balanced against the constitutional rights of those arrested to be free from government intrusion.”

The case now before the Supreme Court Justices revolves around a decision made by Maryland’s top court, which decided that taking DNA samples from suspects who were not convicted was a breach of the Fourth Amendment – the right against unreasonable searches and seizures.


The Maryland Court of Appeals stated that the individuals arrested have a “weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches” and that this expectation is not superseded by the state’s “purported interest in assuring proper identification.”

In response to the argument made by Maryland prosecutors that DNA mouth swabs were no more intrusive than fingerprinting, the court responded by stating that it “could not turn a blind eye” to the “vast genetic treasure map” in the DNA databases maintained by the State.

Furthermore, the court noted that, while fingerprinting can only provide information concerning the identity of a suspect, DNA holds keys to a person’s family history and relations, health risks, and many other aspects of an individual’s most personal details. In the move toward a society which attempts to predict criminal or dissenting behavior, it is also frightening to note that many “experts” and would-be scientific tyrants claim that DNA can actually envisage such behavior. Regardless of the falsity of this “pre-crime” theory, the fact is that more and more credence to such pseudo-science is being given by the corporate media, law enforcement, government, corporations, and the scientific community itself.

It should also be noted that the case currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court does not involve the practice of taking DNA samples from convicts, a policy that is not being challenged.

According to Kravetz of Wired, the Supreme Court has held previously held that when police conduct an intrusion of the body during the course of an investigation, “exigent circumstances” or a warrant is needed. However, one should keep in mind that the taking of blood from a suspected drunk driver is now considered an “exigent circumstance” because alcohol evaporates in the body.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court meeting currently taking place does not look promising. After all, Chief Justice John Roberts has already stayed the Maryland court decision and has actually indicated that there was a “fair prospect” that the Supreme Court would reverse the decision.

Although one hopes that the Court will either rule in favor of the Maryland Court’s decision or that it will decide not to review the case and allow the ruling to become law, it is an unfortunate reality that US courts have been not only derelict in their responsibility to protect the rights of the American people but that they have been outright hostile to it, particularly in recent years.

Any court that rules it Constitutional to force individuals to buy private products or to strip search non-violent arrestees with impunity and no probable cause is one that holds very little hope for the survival of privacy, Constitutional, or human rights.

While we await the decision of the Supreme Court, we can always remain hopeful. However, considering the court’s recent history, it would be unwise to allow those hopes to rise too high.

Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over 175 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville's podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 


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1 comment:

Dave Phillips said...

Unfortunately here in Australia, anyone who is arrested, for anything has their DNA taken, to match against held DNA from ongoing investigations. No guidelines as to how long it is held for against crimes already committed, and no information as to if it is destroyed after a certain length of time or if it comes back negative against already held crime scene DNA? For instance I was interviewed for a particular investigation, and as I had alibis and those were corroborated against others evidence and alibis, I had no fear of providing a sample. Nothing ever came of the sample and I was told it would be destroyed, I still haven't to date received any official notice that has occurred. So I imagine all DNA held will be kept for "just in case".

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