Being fingerprinted upon arrest is so commonplace, few people think twice about it. But what if the arresting agency wanted to take DNA? And run it against an index of unsolved crimes? And then store it in a database for eternity?
Over the past several years, DNA collection has become more common, and it’s regularly taken from people convicted of a crime. But this year, the Department of Justice issued a rule allowing for the collection of DNA from anyone who is arrested for a federal crime.
It took effect on Jan. 9 and is currently seeing its first challenge here in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Ruben Mitchell is charged with possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. He was indicted in March and has been incarcerated since.
At his first court appearance, Mr. Mitchell objected to the collection of his DNA pre-conviction, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan issued an order blocking the collection until a decision by the district court.
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