Rich Lord reports:
A closely divided 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found that the collection of DNA samples from people arrested — but not yet convicted — of crimes is constitutional, in an opinion released today.
In a precedent-setting ruling, the appeals court rejected U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone’s 2009 order finding that law enforcement could not collect DNA from Ruben Mitchell, who faces a federal charge of attempting to possess and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Judge Cercone had found that requiring pre-trial detainees to submit DNA samples, which is done under the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000, violates the 4th Amendment’s search and seizure rules.
In an 8-6 ruling, the circuit judges found that people who are arrested have “a diminished expectation of privacy in their identities.