Supreme Court Upholds DNA Swabbing of People Under Arrest

June 4, 2013 – In The News
Fox News Radio Affiliates

Fox News called on Scott L. Vernick to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold the police practice of taking DNA samples from those arrested but not convicted of a crime. While the full interview can be heard on Fox News affiliates June 4 broadcast, a synopsis is noted below.

Although the five justices in the majority ruled that DNA swabbing amounts to the 21st century version of fingerprinting, Vernick noted that using DNA obtained for one crime to convict the perpetrator of a separate crime for which he or she was not originally suspected of committing could be unconstitutional.

While forensic examiners are unlikely to find one suspect’s fingerprints at multiple crime scenes years apart, DNA can be tracked for a longer time span and can therefore be used as evidence to help solve a crime still open in police files.

Vernick encourages a balance between privacy and security, noting that we are still entitled to privacy while being compliant with the police’s efforts to ensure public safety.

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