Rebecca M. Coffee
DOES TAKING A DNA SAMPLE AT THE TIME OF ARREST VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION?
In the article, the Wisconsin State Bar discusses a potential new law in Wisconsin that would allow police to take DNA from a person who has been arrested for certain offenses, and a pending U.S. Supreme Court case addressing the Constitutionality of such a law. Current law in Wisconsin authorizes seizure of a DNA sample only upon conviction for a felony offense or certain misdemeanors related to sexual-assault. Besides the legal issue of whether such a law violates the Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, this law raises policy questions about whether it is fair and just to take a individual’s DNA when they have not been convicted, or even charged, with a crime.