FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

The Law Officer's Pocket Manual - Bloomberg BNA
This handy 4" x 6" spiral-bound manual offers examples showing how rules are...

Top News

SCOTUS Allows DNA Swabs During Arrests

June 03, 2013  | 

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Police investigators can routinely collect DNA samples from suspects arrested for a serious crime to solve old cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The 5-4 ruling came in Maryland v. King, where a convicted rapist had argued his Fourth Amendment privacy rights were violated when police used DNA to connect him to an earlier crime. The court reinstated Alonzo King's conviction for a 2003 rape uncovered after his 2009 arrest for an unrelated assault.

Justice Anthony Kennedy disagreed with King's contention that the use of DNA evidence constituted a warrantless seizure. He said DNA collection is no different than taking a suspect's mug shot or fingerprints upon arrest.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said he worried the ruling will allow law enforcement to collect DNA samples for minor offenses.

The federal government and at least 26 states now allow DNA collection at arrest, reports Bloomberg News.

Editor's note: Read full coverage of this decision in an upcoming Point of Law.


DNA Case Heads To U.S. Supreme Court

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Lt. Sal @ 6/4/2013 8:59 AM

It is refreshing to see a decision go to the side of law enforcement. our hands seemed to get tied at every turn and the bad guys know it. This could truly benefit victims. Stay safe.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Elbeco's New Reflex Uniform Now Available
Elbeco's new Reflex uniform series, which extends the concept of the daily duty uniform,...
Company Says It Provided Right Address to Dispatcher the Night Missouri Officer Killed
The day after the shooting, investigators revealed the 911 call originated in Windsor, Mo....
Experts Believe Anonymous Tip Lines Can Prevent School Shootings
In Colorado, at least two high school students were arrested based on information sent to...
Autopsy Shows Chicago Police Commander Shot 6 Times
Bauer, 53, a 31-year department veteran who headed the Near North patrol district, was...
NYPD Sued Over Removal of Religious Head Coverings for Booking Photos
The suit challenges a 2015 NYPD policy requiring that booking photos have an unobstructed...

Police Magazine