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Supreme Court Ruling Allows Police to Take DNA Samples From Suspects

June 3, 2013

A Supreme Court ruling handed down Monday, gives police the power to obtain a DNA sample from people they arrest without a search warrant. The 5-4 ruling comes in the case of Maryland Vs. King in which Maryland police connected a man to a 2003 rape by taking his DNA, even though he had not been convicted of any other crime.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion, likening DNA samples to fingerprinting and suggesting it could be used to solve old cases. John Whitehead, the president of the Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville said the ruling is intrusive and will prevent suspects from being presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

"The Fourth Amendment is really clear," Whitehead said. "This is a search and seizure, and because you're arrested doesn't mean you're guilty."

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