“The Fourth Amendment forbids searching a person for evidence of a crime when there is no basis for believing the person is guilty of the crime or is in possession of incriminating evidence. That prohibition is categorical and without exception; it lies at the very heart of the Fourth Amendment.” — Justice Scalia
The Supreme Court took a hearty swipe at the 4th Amendment, and thanks in large part to the so-called Conservatives on the court, our Bill of Rights may never look the same.
In the state of Maryland, the law allows the police to collect the DNA of those accused of certain violent crimes. In 2009 Alonzo King was arrested after being accused of just such a crime, and that arrest and the subsequent DNA swab led to his arrest and conviction of a 2003 rape which he’d not been previously implicated in.
Justice Kennedy, in his majority opinion, wrote that there is no difference between a DNA swab and fingerprinting and that the non-obtrusive cheek swab is minimally invasive and would result in the prosecution of more violent offenders.
Justice Scalia’s response: “Make no mistake about it,” he wrote. “As an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”
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