Monday, June 3, 2013

Government Allowed to Take DNA without Warrant

The Supreme Court today ruled that it is perfectly acceptable for the police to take your DNA without a warrant.  Oh my.  

In 2009 a man named Alonzo King was taken under arrest and charged with assault, during this arrest the police took a swab and matched his DNA to an unsolved rape.  Mr. King was not taken under arrest for the rape, nor was he believed to be involved at the time of the arrest.  He was charged, prosecuted, and found guilty of the rape.  His attorney's filed an appeal under the fourth amendment of illegal search and seizure.  

The court has decided that DNA swabs are no different than taking a photograph and fingerprints.  It is only a source of identification.  Really?  Giving the government bodily fluids is just another source of making an ID?  

Scalia joined with the more liberal wing of the court and said this in his dissent:

"The Fourth Amendment forbids searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no basis for believing the person is guilty of the crime or is in possession of incriminating evidence," Scalia said. "That prohibition is categorical and without exception; it lies at the very heart of the Fourth Amendment."
But my favorite has to be:

"I hope that the Maryland officials who read the Court’s opinion do not take it seriously,"
Doesn't those on the court understand how this can be abused?  Now, it seems pretty obvious that King is indeed a rapist.  I have zero sympathy for him, zero.  But he isn't really the point.  These cases are always about something bigger than person who brought the case.  When he was arrested, there doesn't seem to be that there was evidence he was guilty of committing this rape.  So why would they have right to take his DNA?  The entire point of our justice system is the presumption of innocence.  By automatically taking DNA swabs of every person who is arrested we have forgone that presumption and walking towards something that will no longer resemble our justice system.  

What is so odd is that it seems that the deciding vote came from Justice Stephen Breyer.  Strange bed fellows indeed.  

But sadly we have gotten to the point in this country that the government's desires and needs are now over taking our rights.  This government was built on the rights of the individual being paramount.  That seems to no longer exist.  

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