Crime Tracker: Supreme Court Decision On DNA Testing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Crime Tracker: Supreme Court Decision On DNA Testing

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KHQ.COM - The Supreme Court settled a years long debate in Maryland ruling that police can take DNA samples during arrests.  The move could eventually make DNA swabbing as common as fingerprinting.  In a five to four decision, justices in the high court ruled that police can take the sample by swabbing the inside of the cheek when they make an arrest in a serious or violent crime, like murder or rape.  The decision upholds a Maryland law that could open the door to more widespread DNA collection by officers. 

DNA samples collected at the scene are checked against a national database of unsolved crimes.  The accuracy of DNA testing has proven to be a determining factor in successfully identifying suspects.  Justices say the DNA swab can also help confirm the identity of the arrestee and discover whether the suspect has a violent past.  Until this week's decision, law enforcement could only swab for DNA if they had a warrant or if the person under arrest had a felony conviction.


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