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Supreme Court Approves Gathering of DNA, South Dakota Attorney General Agrees

DNA Research
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in favor of police organizations gathering DNA samples upon arrest.  The case originated from a Maryland man who was arrested for assault in 2009.  After taking a DNA sample from Alonzo Jay King, the results were linked to evidence from an unsolved rape in 2003.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the Maryland law that allowed for the collection of DNA upon arrest is very similar to South Dakota statute.  Thus, Jackley along with other Attorneys General across the nation were in support of the Maryland law.  Jackley says the law does not cross into invasion of privacy and there are reasonable safeguards in place.

Jackley Says The Maryland And South Dakota DNA Collection Laws Similar

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Furthermore, the DNA law in South Dakota was limited in scope by the Legislature.  If someone is arrested for a violent or sex offense then collection can commence.  Petty offenses or misdemeanors do not meet the threshold of DNA collection.  Plus DNA cannot be collected for medicinal or genetic purposes and can be expunged upon request.   To date the law which was enacted in 2003 and revised in 2005 has helped solve 260 cases including a murder.

Jackley Reveals That DNA Collection Has Helped Catch Criminals

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Jackley also intimates that the cost of processing and storing samples would preclude taking a swab from arrests involving minor offenses.

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