DNA taken as a result of certain felony arrests
DNA taken as a result of all felony arrests
31 States have enacted legislation to require DNA from certain felony arrestees. All 50 states participate in CODIS, the national DNA database. So far 31 states have expanded their ability to solve and prevent crimes by including DNA from felony arrests.
DNA TESTING is 21st Century Fingerprinting
The US Supreme Court has ruled that requiring a forensic DNA sample upon felony arrest does not violate rights guaranteed by the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution. Specifically, the court stated that requiring a DNA sample from an individual arrested for a felony is a reasonable and legitimate police booking procedure, similar to fingerprinting or photographying.
DNA fingerprinting serves “a well-established, legitimate government interest: the need of law enforcement officers in a safe and accurate way to process and identify persons and possessions taken into custody”. Maryland v. King 569 U.S. (2013)
Questions and Answers
What is contained within CODIS, the national DNA database?
CODIS contains a digitized representation of only 20 base pairs or markers out of over 3 billion on the human genome. These 20 markers are non-coding and contain no genetic information. There are profiles from crime scene evidence as well as those arrested for and convicted of crimes.
Can the information in CODIS reveal any medical or genetic characteristics?
No. The areas of DNA used for forensic testing provide no value for disease association, genetic predisposition on physical characteristic.
Are DNA databases discriminatory?
The information contained in COLDIS does not reveal any information that can be used to discriminate. The database does not identify race or socio-economic status.
How do DNA databases protect public safety?
Studies have shown DNA databases to be one of the most effective crime-fighting tools available to law enforcement.
Case studies of twenty offenders in seven states have identifies 170 crimes that could have been prevented by collecting DNA upon felony arrest. By missing this opportunity to correctly identify criminals who were booked and fingerprinted for other felony arrests, law enforcement unwittingly released violent criminals back into the community—free to rape and murder more citizens.