Mar 242011
 
 March 24, 2011  Laws, Surveillance

Bob Barr comments on some state-level legislation in Georgia that is part of a disturbing national trend to permit law enforcement to take DNA samples from people who have been arrested. I’ve blogged about this type of legislation in the past. Most recently, North Carolina implemented this type of law and Senator Schumer is pushing for federal legislation to encourage states to do this.

Yet, darned if shortly after passage of the alcohol bill, the Senate moved on SB 80, sponsored by Sen. Joshua McKoon (R-Columbus) and backed by several of his Republican colleagues. This privacy-invasive, constitutionally-defective measure would authorize government agents to forcibly take a DNA sample from every person in Georgia who is arrested for a felony – not convicted, but merely arrested; and not just felonies for which DNA evidence is relevant, but for any felony.

If signed into law, this legislation would bring Georgia in line with two dozen other states and the federal government, by dramatically expanding the state’s DNA database. Through its enactment, this legislation would make Georgia yet another state in which the desire of law enforcement to gather as much information on as many people as possible, trumps the clear intent and purpose of the Constitution of the United States to protect citizens against unwarranted and unreasonable seizure of evidence against them.

Read more in The Barr Code. Obviously, I agree with Barr on this issue and view DNA collection as so privacy-intrusive that it should require the utmost Fourth Amendment protections.

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