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Supreme Court considers DNA collection case

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Posted: Feb 26, 2013 5:54 PM by Rob Krieger
Updated: Feb 26, 2013 5:54 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Crime, DNA, Supreme Court, Police, Law, Barkemeyer

BATON ROUGE- The US Supreme Court is deciding if police have the right to collect DNA evidence without a warrant during an arrest.

Right now, Louisiana law allows police to collect DNA when someone is arrested for a felony or some violent misdemeanors.

"It allows us to bring to justice people who are suspected of some serious violent crimes and also to clear some people who have been wrongly accused somewhere along the way," said Capt. Doug Cain with the State Police.

The State Police Crime Lab already has more than 400,000 DNA profiles.

Still, some think the warrant-less DNA swabbing could lead to a slippery slope.

"First of all they haven't been convicted yet, they're just sitting in jail waiting for trial and they could be innocent people, also the reason they're being swabbed is not related to why they're in jail," said Carl Barkemeyer, a criminal attorney in Baton Rouge. "The question is how far is this going to go, and I tell you the answer is, once it starts affecting people who have nothing to do with crime, that's as far as it's gonna go."

Louisiana is one of 28 states that allows police to collect DNA evidence during an arrest.

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