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DNA Arrestee Database Cases



Maryland v. King, US Supreme Court, No. 12–207, 6/3/13, taking a DNA sample upon arrest, like fingerprinting and photographing, is a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Maryland v. King.PDF

Nearly a third of the states, Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, now have laws authorizing arrestee DNA sampling and any person arrested for a federal crime is subject to DNA sampling under the Violence Against Women law of 2006.

Challenges to DNA Arrestee Database statutes based on the Fourth Amendment have arisen. Cases addressing those issues are listed below:

  1. Anderson v. Com, Virginia Supreme Court, No. 062051, 9/14/07, the collection of DNA from an arrestee did not violate the Fourth Amendment and the statute authorizing this collection is constitutional. Anderson.PDF
  2. In the Matter of the Welfare of: C.T.L., Minnesota Court of Appeals, A06-874, File No. J4-05-52203, 10/10/06, the Minnesota DNA arrestee statute violates the Fourth Amendment. C.T.L..PDF
  3. United States v. Pool, 09-015-EJG-GGH, Eastern District of California, May 27, 2009, the court upheld the constitutionality of DNA sample collection from all those arrested upon probable cause for the commission of a federal felony finding 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. Pool.PDF affirmed in US v. Pool 9th Circuit CA No. 09-10303 9/14/10 Pool 9th C CA.pdf
  4. US v. Mitchell, US Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, No. 09-4718, July 25, 2011, the court upheld the constitutionality of DNA sample collection from those arrested upon probable cause for the commission of a federal felony finding that arrestees have a diminished expectation of privacy in their identities, and DNA collection from arrestees serves important law enforcement interests, therefore such collection is reasonable and does not violate the Fourth Amendment. Mitchell.PDF
  5. Haskell v. Brown, US District Court for the Northern District of California, C 09-04779CRB, 12/23/09, the court denied a motion to enjoin the enforcement of the California arrestee statute finding that the plaintiff was not likely to succeed in establishing that the statue violated the Fourth Amendment or Fourteenth Amendment. Haskell.pdf affirmed in Haskell v. Harris, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2/23/12, Haskel12.pdf Upholds California’s DNA arrestee collection scheme as constitutional Haskell 9th cca opinion.pdf
  6. U.S. v. Thomas, US District Court of Western District of New York, 10-CR-6172CJS, 2/14/11, the court found that found that the defendant’s status as an indicted person does not materially affect the analysis of the privacy right at stake in the collection of a DNA sample. The court ruled that the only privacy interest implicated by the Federal DNA Act is identity and the government’s interest in accurate and rapid identifications outweighs the defendant’s privacy interest in the collection and analysis of a DNA sample. Thomas.pdf
  7. People v. Buza, California Court of Appeals, First District, A125542, 8/4/11, the court concluded that the California DNA Act, to the extent it requires felony arrestees to submit a DNA sample for law enforcement analysis and inclusion in the state and federal DNA databases, without independent suspicion, a warrant or even a judicial or grand jury determination of probable cause, unreasonably intrudes on such arrestees‘ expectation of privacy and is invalid under the Fourth Amendment. Buza.PDF
  8. U.S. v. Fricosu, US District Court for the District Colorado, Criminal Case No. 10-cr-00509-REB-01, 2/22/12, the court upheld the constitutionality of DNA sample collection from those arrested upon probable cause for the commission of a federal felony. Fricosu.pdf
  9. King v. Maryland, Maryland Court of Appeals, No. 68, September Term, 2011, taking DNA from arrestees violates the Fourth Amendment under a balancing test that weighs an individual’s expectation of privacy against government interests, an arrestee’s expectation of privacy to be free from warrantless, suspicionless searches of his/her biological material outweighs the government’s interest in using DNA as a method to identify the arrestee. King.pdf. Justice Roberts (US Supreme Court) stayed the mandate pending resolution of a petition for certiorari, Md-v.-King.pdf
  10. Mario W. v. Kaipio, Arizona Supreme Court, No. CV-11-0344-PR, Nos. 1 CA-SA 11-0016, 1 CA-SA 11-0020, 1 CA-SA 11-0025, 1 CA-SA 11-0031, 1 CA-SA 11-0032, 1 CA-SA 11-0042, 1 CA-SA 11-0043 (Consolidated) 6/27/12 - the court found that taking DNA upon arrest involved two separate intrusions on a juvenile's privacy. The first was the act of physically seizing the DNA and the second was extracting the profile from the DNA. The court found that there was no Fourth Amendment violation in taking the DNA sample. However, there was no state interest sufficient to justify the serious intrusion on the privacy interests of the juveniles occasioned by extracting the profile from the DNA sample. Mario W. v. Kaipio.pdf

For more information on arrestee DNA database sampling see:

  1. DNA Saves
  2. Chicago’s Study on Preventable Crimes - requiring DNA for Felony arrests can solve and prevent violent crimes. Waiting for conviction can cost lives, Study by the City of Chicago, 2005 Chicago Preventable Crimes-Final.pdf Arrestee law Chicago Study.wmv
  3. Maryland Study on Preventable Crimes - Requiring DNA for qualifying arrests in the proposed legislation can solve and prevent violent crimes. Study by the Maryland Criminal Justice Information System, the Baltimore County Police Department and the Maryland State Police, 2008. MarylandDNAarresteestudy.pdf
  4. Washington State Preventable Crime Study 2008. WA Preventable Crime.pdf
  5. The FBI Rules for Arrestee and Detainee DNA Collection, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 76, 4/18/08. the FBI final rule on arrestee and detainee testing.pdf
  6. Denver’s Study on Preventable Crimes - Requiring DNA for felony arrests can solve and prevent violent crimes. Waiting for conviction can cost lives and allows sexual predators to continue to rape victims, Study by the Denver District Attorney’s Office 2009. Denver's Preventable Crimes Study.pdf
  7. Why Arrestee DNA Legislation Can Save Indianan Taxpayers Over $50 Million Per Year, Siegel and Narveson, January 2009. Indiana Arrestee Legislation - Jan 13 2009.pdf
  8. The Constitutionality of DNA Sampling on Arrest, DH Kaye 2000,
  9. Virginia’s Arrestee DNA Database was established January 1, 2003. The first hit to the Arrestee Database occurred after the upload of the first 80 samples into the database. As of December 31, 2008, a total of 483 hits to the Arrestee Database had been obtained. 80 of the hits to arrestees were associated with sexual assault cases.
  10. DNA Saves: More states are finding collecting DNA upon arrest saves lives, money and time, by Ronnie Garrett,, February 2009 issue,$45826
  11. Denver Katie’s Law News Story – McGee arrest - Channel 7 News 11/2/11.
  12. February 2011 press conference regarding early results on Colorado’s Arrestee Law (Katie’s Law)
  13. An update on Colorado’s Katie’s law 11-19-2012 Update on Colorado's Katie's law1 11-19-12.pdf
  14. Lost Lives, Preventable Violence and Delayed Justice: The High Cost of Not Collecting DNA From Persons Arrested for A Felony, Michael J. Kane, Majority Counsel, Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee, November 2012 Kane Arestee Study 2012.pdf