Obama Backs DNA Test in Arrest

by Project Censored

President Obama is in support of a national database that will hold the DNA of all people who get arrested on suspicion of a felony or gross misdemeanor. It is important to note that the DNA will be taken (usually swabbing the inner cheek) from all people who are arrested, not just people who are convicted. More than a dozen states already allow DNA collection before conviction. Some view this as a violation of privacy, while others consider it a step towards safety and justice.
On one side of the argument if DNA is taken at the time of an arrest, minorities will be “adversely affected” due to the fact that they are disproportionately arrested. Gerstein quoted John Walsh as saying, “It’s no different than fingerprinting or a booking photo.” People against the DNA database say that DNA is nothing like a fingerprint, DNA is like a medical record and this process would be “tremendously invasive” (Quigley). TheDNA test costs $82.00.
The other side argues that the DNA database would help catch people engaging in illegal acts as well as clear people who have been wrongly accused. Obama argues that a national database is necessary because the state databases don’t work well together to fight crime. Obama was quoted saying, “…if they are not sharing it with the state next store, you’ve got a guy from Illinois driving over into Indiana, and they’re not talking to each other.”
Source: “Obama Backs DNA Test in Arrests” Josh Gerstein, POLITICO, March 9th 2010. http://politico.com/news/stories/0310/34097.html

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