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Federal court upholds constitutionality of DNA Fingerprint Act

Federal court upholds constitutionality of DNA Fingerprint Act

A federal court in the Eastern District of California has upheld the constitutionality of DNA sample collection from all those arrested upon probable cause for the commission of a federal felony. The court’s order, filed in United States v. Pool, 09-015-EJG-GGH, rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of DNA sampling and cataloguing of arrestees in federal cases as it has been recently modified by the DNA Fingerprint Act.


In its decision, the court held that after a judicial or grand jury determination of probable cause has been made for felony criminal charges against a defendant, no Fourth Amendment or other Constitutional violation is caused by a requirement that the defendant undergo a mouth swab or blood test for the purposes of DNA analysis to be used for criminal law enforcement identification purposes. In so determining, the court recognized that an individual arrested upon probable cause has a “diminished expectation of privacy in his own identity,” and that DNA fingerprinting as a law enforcement tool is merely a “technological progression” from photographs and traditional fingerprints, which are a “part of the routinebooking process upon arrest.”

Source – Dept. of Justice, Eastern District of California, Press Release (pdf)

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