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Collecting Criminals' DNA Ruled Constitutional

March 23, 2005  | 

A federal law that requires prisoners, parolees, and some people on probation to submit DNA for an FBI database has been ruled constitutional in a Philadelphia appeals court.

A panel of three judges of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that, in the interest of creating a federal database to help solve crimes, although an “ordinary citizen’s” privacy should not be invaded with required DNA submissions, criminals do not enjoy the same freedoms.

“A DNA database promotes increased accuracy in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases,” wrote Judge Jane R. Roth for the majority. “It will aid in solving crimes.”

Roth added that the DNA samples collected from criminals will be used to prove some people’s innocence and to narrow down suspect lists when investigating crimes.

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