Taking DNA samples from people charged with but not yet convicted of serious crimes would give police and prosecutors a powerful new tool to solve crimes faster and even prevent others from happening.
But a proposal to expand Pennsylvania’s collection of genetic identification has drawn fire from criminal defense lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union, who say it threatens the principle that a person charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.
Furthermore, opponents argue, the collection of evidence without a warrant and invasion of privacy inherent in taking a person’s genetic material damage everyone’s civil rights.
“The government can’t snatch your medical records without judicial intervention; they shouldn’t be able to snatch your biology without judicial intervention,” Easton criminal defense attorney Gary Asteak said.
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