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by Annie Linskey | September 17, 2012
A bipartisan group of Maryland lawmakers today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a state law that allows police to collect DNA samples from those arrested for violent crimes and some burglaries.  The lawmakers, led by Montgomery County Del. Sam Arora (D), said the law is a critical tool for law enforcement, has helped put rapists and other criminals behind bars and should be reinstated. Eighteen others signed on to the amicus brief. Attorney General Doug Gansler has also asked the court to uphold the state law. The 2008 DNA collection law was overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals in April, when judges agreed with civil liberties groups that have argued that people are presumed innocent at the time of arrest.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 7, 2013
The Sun's reasoning regarding the recent ruling on DNA collection is severely flawed ("Court is right on DNA," June 4). DNA is not 21 s t -century fingerprinting, and it does more than identify a person. It's likely there is yet undetermined information stored in the "non-coding" section of DNA. It is irrelevant whether the information gathered is used or not. The very fact that the state has taken the information from an individual violates the Fourth Amendment. It can be likened to taking someone's computer.
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NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | March 1, 2013
The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland is pushing legislation to close what it describes as loopholes in state law that allow police to keep DNA samples from people never convicted of crimes. Del. Jill P. Carter, a Baltimore Democrat, said Friday she is preparing — with caucus backing — to introduce a bill that would subject all DNA collected by Maryland police to the restrictive standards used for genetic information taken from people charged with violent crimes and burglaries.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2013
A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that police in Maryland and elsewhere can continue the warrantless collection of DNA from people arrested - but not convicted - of serious crimes. The 5-4 decision upheld a state law that allows investigators to take genetic information from arrestees, a practice followed by the federal government and about half the states. Police generally compare suspects' DNA to records from other cases in hopes of developing leads. The case, which amplified a long-running debate over the limits of government search-and-seizure powers, began with a challenge from a Wicomico County man linked to a rape after his DNA was taken in an unrelated arrest.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2012
Maryland's highest court on Tuesday blocked police in most cases from collecting DNA samples when they arrest suspects in violent crimes and burglaries, dealing a blow to one of Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature initiatives. The Court of Appeals ruled 5-2 that the state violated Alonzo Jay King Jr.'s constitutional rights by using DNA evidence taken from him after a 2009 assault arrest. That sample led to his conviction in a six-year-old rape case, but the court said it also ran afoul of protections against unreasonable searches without a warrant.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2013
In an attempt to keep one of his signature initiatives alive, Gov. Martin O'Malley wants state lawmakers to reauthorize police to collect DNA samples from crime suspects before the current statute expires later this year. The release of the Democratic governor's legislative agenda comes about a month before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether the state's 2008 law is constitutional or a violation of a suspect's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
NEWS
June 7, 2013
The Sun's reasoning regarding the recent ruling on DNA collection is severely flawed ("Court is right on DNA," June 4). DNA is not 21 s t -century fingerprinting, and it does more than identify a person. It's likely there is yet undetermined information stored in the "non-coding" section of DNA. It is irrelevant whether the information gathered is used or not. The very fact that the state has taken the information from an individual violates the Fourth Amendment. It can be likened to taking someone's computer.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2012
Calling DNA collection from those arrested for certain felonies a "valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes," Chief Justice John G. Roberts on Monday said there was a "fair prospect" that the nation's high court would overturn a Maryland ruling striking down the practice as unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet agreed to take on the issue, but statements made by Roberts in a four-page opinion signaled that was likely. The Maryland attorney general's office plans to file a petition asking for the court's review by mid-August.
NEWS
By Gadi Dechter and Gadi Dechter,gadi.dechter@baltsun.com | October 15, 2008
A top aide to Gov. Martin O'Malley lashed out yesterday at the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland for what he called "irresponsible" and "intentionally inflammatory" comments about a new program for collecting DNA samples from crime suspects. Chief legislative officer Joseph C. Bryce appeared before a legislative committee to address criticism raised last month by the ACLU of Maryland, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Legislative Black Caucus over proposed regulations governing the state's expanded DNA-collection system, which goes into effect in January.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Justin Fenton,Justin.fenton@baltsun.com | November 11, 2009
LONDON London's police stations could offer a view of the future of American policing - if the political will is there to make it happen. Touring a station in Brixton, I was shown a tiny room with a machine the size of a refrigerator that takes fingerprints from criminal suspects. This room was also where police collected DNA samples from everyone who passes through. DNA collection is expanding in America. In Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley just recently pushed through legislation to broaden DNA collection capabilities to include individuals charged with crimes of violence, first-, second- or third-degree burglary or attempting these crimes.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2013
As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether to strike down Maryland's controversial DNA collection law, the House of Delegates on Thursday voted to extend it.  The 2009 law allows police to collect DNA samples from people arrested for certain violent crimes. It is set to sunset at the end of the year. By a 135-1 vote, the House decided to make it permanent.  The measure now moves to the Senate. In late February, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the law violated the Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | March 1, 2013
The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland is pushing legislation to close what it describes as loopholes in state law that allow police to keep DNA samples from people never convicted of crimes. Del. Jill P. Carter, a Baltimore Democrat, said Friday she is preparing — with caucus backing — to introduce a bill that would subject all DNA collected by Maryland police to the restrictive standards used for genetic information taken from people charged with violent crimes and burglaries.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2013
In an attempt to keep one of his signature initiatives alive, Gov. Martin O'Malley wants state lawmakers to reauthorize police to collect DNA samples from crime suspects before the current statute expires later this year. The release of the Democratic governor's legislative agenda comes about a month before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether the state's 2008 law is constitutional or a violation of a suspect's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | November 9, 2012
Maryland's DNA law, which allows police to take samples of suspects' genetic material for possible matches to other crimes, will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court next year, the justices announced Friday. The law, a signature crime-fighting initiative of Gov. Martin O'Malley, was ruled unconstitutional by Maryland's highest court in April. But in July, U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued an order allowing police to continue collecting DNA samples, signaling that the high court would ultimately weigh in on the issue that has pitted law enforcement interests against privacy concerns.
NEWS
by Annie Linskey | September 17, 2012
A bipartisan group of Maryland lawmakers today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a state law that allows police to collect DNA samples from those arrested for violent crimes and some burglaries.  The lawmakers, led by Montgomery County Del. Sam Arora (D), said the law is a critical tool for law enforcement, has helped put rapists and other criminals behind bars and should be reinstated. Eighteen others signed on to the amicus brief. Attorney General Doug Gansler has also asked the court to uphold the state law. The 2008 DNA collection law was overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals in April, when judges agreed with civil liberties groups that have argued that people are presumed innocent at the time of arrest.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2012
Calling DNA collection from those arrested for certain felonies a "valuable tool for investigating unsolved crimes," Chief Justice John G. Roberts on Monday said there was a "fair prospect" that the nation's high court would overturn a Maryland ruling striking down the practice as unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has not yet agreed to take on the issue, but statements made by Roberts in a four-page opinion signaled that was likely. The Maryland attorney general's office plans to file a petition asking for the court's review by mid-August.
EXPLORE
Staff Reports | April 27, 2012
The Baltimore County Police Department announced Friday that, in the wake of a Maryland Court of Appeals opinion, it will discontinue collection of DNA samples at the time of arrest from suspects charged with certain violent crimes. But in a press release, Police Chief James Johnson expressed his displeasure over the ruling, and said he hopes it will be reversed. "Our job is public safety, and DNA collection is an invaluable tool for helping us protect citizens from criminals," Johnson said in the statement.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2012
Suspects arrested for violent crimes or burglaries will again have to submit to DNA collections, officials with several Maryland law enforcement agencies said Thursday. A day after U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. authorized the practice to resume, at least temporarily, a number of police departments said they had decided to collect samples as they await further word from the high court. Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether collecting the genetic information before a person is convicted violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed Maryland to resume the collection of DNA samples after arrests for violent crimes, an indication that the justices might decide the issue that has divided lower courts and pitted tough-on-crime state officials against civil liberties activists. Wednesday's one-sentence order from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is temporary, intended to give opponents of the law a chance to respond before the court makes a more definitive ruling. The uncertainty about what will happen next had led to confusion in law enforcement circles about whether police should immediately reinstate the practice.
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