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WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court says police can legally take DNA without a warrant from those arrested in hopes of using it to solve old cases.

The justices, on a 5-4 vote, say taking DNA samples from people who have been arrested for various crimes, long before their guilt or innocence has been proven, does not violate the Constitution.

At least 28 states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. But a Maryland court said it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King’s DNA without approval from a judge. That court said King had “a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches.”

But Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the Supreme Court, called DNA cheek swabs “a legitimate police booking procedure” like fingerprinting or photographing.

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  • jj

    I think this is a poor decision by the court. No, I don’t have anything to hide and I have worked in law enforcement at both the local and Federal level. I have no problem after you are convicted, but when you are only charged with a crime, I think it is going to far.

    So, those you who are asked to give a swab the next time you are given a traffic ticket will begin to see why. Yes, a traffic ticket is an arrest and you or released (Bailed out) on your signature.

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