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Posted: 12/26/2003 12:22:05 PM EDT
story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20031223/pl_nm/crime_database_dc_1

Calif. DNA Plan Draws Ire of Civil Libertarians
Mon Dec 22, 9:10 PM ET

By Gina Keating

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California law enforcement officials are backing a proposed ballot measure that would give them authority to operate the largest DNA database in the nation -- one that opponents said on Monday is prohibitively expensive and a potential threat to privacy rights.

The measure, championed by a Newport Beach, California, man whose brother and sister-in-law were murdered in 1980, would expand the range of crimes for which felons must submit DNA samples to the state's database to include nonviolent offenders, juveniles and uncharged suspects.

The proposal has inflamed civil libertarians, who contend it flouts constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure, and has drawn the ire of public defenders who say it overburdens the cash-strapped state.

"Should we allow the government to engage in widespread searches?" Francisco Lobaco, the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites)'s legislative director, said.

"It's the same concept as engaging in a non-consensual search of everybody leaving a mall because somebody has stolen something ... and putting that (information) in a database," Lobaco said.

Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender Jennifer Friedman, a DNA expert, said the costs of gathering and testing DNA combined with the huge volume of tests required by the proposed measure -- some 400,000 a year when it is fully implemented -- made it fiscally unsound.

The program would be funded through a $10 surcharge on misdemeanor bail forfeitures, and would generate an estimated $25 million per year. Friedman said the state is already unable to keep up with its mandate to test all violent felons.

"I suspect they are not going to be able to pay for the scope of this program from money from the court. This is going to be enormously expensive," Friedman said.

But Bruce Harrington, the lawyer-real estate developer who funded the initiative with $1.5 million of his own money, said the basic DNA test called for in his measure costs closer to $50 each than the $1,000 each described by opponents.

If voters approve the measure, it will allow California authorities to get DNA samples from everyone arrested or convicted on felony charges, as well as from misdemeanor sex offenders -- both adult and juvenile.

Harrington has obtained support from the state's district attorneys association and expects the measure to appear on the November 2004 ballot.

He dismissed the ACLU's concerns about invasion of privacy as "a straw man argument," pointing out that the measure has extensive protections that purge DNA information when a suspect or convict is exonerated.

"The issue of DNA testing is no different than taking fingerprints at arrest ... this is the same methodology and reasoning that the (U.S.) Supreme Court has supported," he said. "I would expect the ACLU would recognize that we can exonerate suspects and not let them clutter up the investigation of a ... crime."

The database could make a dramatic difference in helping police solve so-called "cold crimes," such as the 1980 murders of Harrington's brother and sister-in-law by a serial killer who has never been caught.

Police believe the killer, known as "The Original Nightstalker," murdered at least 10 people and raped more than 50 women across the state before his spree ended mysteriously in 1986.

"There have to be hundreds of people who were touched by this and have not been able to bring closure to this," Harrington said. "DNA is where we need to be in solving crimes ... and exonerating the innocent."
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:31:44 PM EDT
So all I have to do to avoid having my DNA collected for the database is not get arrested for a felony.  No problem.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:40:04 PM EDT
The measure, championed by a Newport Beach, California, man whose brother and sister-in-law were murdered in 1980, would expand the range of crimes for which felons must submit DNA samples to the state's database to include nonviolent offenders, juveniles and [b]uncharged suspects[/b].

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:46:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattja:
[b]uncharged suspects[/b].

View Quote


I took that to mean the test/collection is done at the time of booking, after arrest, but before arraignment. Like fingerprinting is done now.  Have you seen something that leads you to believe otherwise?
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:51:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 1:52:41 PM EDT by cyanide]
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By mattja:
[b]uncharged suspects[/b].

View Quote


I took that to mean the test/collection is done at the time of booking, after arrest, but before arraignment. Like fingerprinting is done now.  Have you seen something that leads you to believe otherwise?
View Quote


So all you have to do is be suspected of a crime and your DNA'ed.  Sounds fair to me.

Heck, why stop there, ram a chip in their brain.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:57:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cyanide:
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By mattja:
[b]uncharged suspects[/b].

View Quote


I took that to mean the test/collection is done at the time of booking, after arrest, but before arraignment. Like fingerprinting is done now.  Have you seen something that leads you to believe otherwise?
View Quote


So all you have to do is be suspected of a crime and your DNA'ed.  
View Quote


Everything I have seens says you have to be arrested for a felony, or misdemeanor sex crime. This doesnt change laws of arrest or probable cause.  I fail to see how it is significantly different than fingerprinting at booking?  If you want to argue that is an unreasonable search, you may have a point. But to say finger printing and photgraphing at booking is okay, but DNA collection is not, is inconsistant at best, paranoid at worst.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 2:01:41 PM EDT
no thanks, just another reason to add to the ever increasing list of reasons NOT to visit kalifornia.......
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 2:58:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By cyanide:
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By mattja:
[b]uncharged suspects[/b].

View Quote


I took that to mean the test/collection is done at the time of booking, after arrest, but before arraignment. Like fingerprinting is done now.  Have you seen something that leads you to believe otherwise?
View Quote


So all you have to do is be suspected of a crime and your DNA'ed.  
View Quote


Everything I have seens says you have to be arrested for a felony, or misdemeanor sex crime. This doesnt change laws of arrest or probable cause.  I fail to see how it is significantly different than fingerprinting at booking?  If you want to argue that is an unreasonable search, you may have a point. But to say finger printing and photgraphing at booking is okay, but DNA collection is not, is inconsistant at best, paranoid at worst.
View Quote


Your DNA says a lot about you. My worry is that it falls into the wrong hands. And since you haven't been convicted of anything, it's even worse.
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