Published September 19, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal appeals court in San Francisco is preparing to hear arguments on whether requiring everyone arrested on felony charges to provide a DNA sample amounts to an unconstitutional search and seizure.
At issue in the case that the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals will take up Wednesday is a 2004 California law authorizing police to collect genetic material from suspects when they are booked.
The ACLU is seeking to have the law overturned on behalf of three people who were arrested but later cleared, claiming it infringed on their right to be presumed innocent.
The DNA collection effort is meant to help solve so-called cold cases. The state's attorney general reports that California's database of close to 2 million samples produces more than 425 hits a month.