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VinBucFan

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: June 03, 2013, 02:47:22 PM

People are understandably cynical about their government, but occassionally we get something that flies in the face of cynicism like today's ruling by the Supreme Court on the 4th Amendment and DNA.  Where ever you fall on the issue, you dont often see the Court divided like this:

"Kennedy wrote the decision, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Scalia was joined in his dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan."

Here's the link if anyone cares:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130603/DA6MB4680.html

Oh . .  on the substance, the shaprly-divided Court held that police can take DNA from people they arrest.  The undelrying case comes from a conviction of a rapist who was identified through a swab obtained during an unrelated arrest:

In the case before the court, a 53-year-old woman was raped and robbed but no one was arrested. Almost six years later, Alonzo King was arrested and charged with felony second-degree assault. Taking advantage of the Maryland law that allowed warrantless DNA tests following some felony arrests, police took a cheek swab of King's DNA, which matched a sample from the 2003 Salisbury rape. King was convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison.

King eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault from his arrest, a crime for which Maryland cannot take warrantless DNA samples. The state courts said it violated King's rights for the state to take his DNA based on an arrest alone. The state Court of Appeals said King had "a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, su**CENSORED**ionless searches." But the high court's decision reinstates King's conviction.

Maryland stopped collecting DNA after that decision, but Roberts allowed police to keep collecting DNA samples pending the high court's review.



If only for the process, this case should give some hope that at least one section of their government is working well

VinBucFan

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#1 : June 03, 2013, 09:05:24 PM

whatever one thinks of Scalia, he has a way with words.  he closed his oral dissent with this:

""It may be wise, as the court obviously believes, to make the Leviathan all-seeing, so that he may protect us all the better. But the proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would not have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection. I dissent."
: June 03, 2013, 09:20:59 PM VinBucFan
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