(PRWEB) August 09, 2012
An important decision made by the Maryland Court of Appeals regarding DNA testing and individual privacy could come under review by the Supreme Court, according to the Washington Times. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. has already issued a stay, which will temporarily overturn the decision by the court of appeals until the Supreme Court is able to decide what they want to do with the case.
The decision revolves around a rape conviction that was overturned by the court of appeals when they found that a DNA test was conducted before law enforcement had a warrant to do so. This type of investigative procedure is common in cases that involve extreme violence, but it could be against our fourth amendment right to privacy.
Maryland criminal lawyer Kush Arora explains why conducting tests before the court has issued proper documentation is a Constitutional issue.
“The importance of how DNA samples are conducted, and what capacity they are collected in,” says Mr. Arora, “is regulated for a couple of reasons. It’s regulated because we want to make sure that samples are being taken securely, so that they are not being contaminated. But it’s also important to note that DNA samples are an invasion of a person’s body. It’s like drawing blood from them. Constitutionally speaking, people have a right to that privacy unless a warrant or an order of the court is issued; or circumstances exist that would allow an officer to bypass that constitutional privilege that we all have. “
The stay issued by Chief Justice Roberts will enable law enforcement to continue conducting tests in this manner until a decision is reached according to that article, and there is no word on when the Supreme Court will take this case on and issue a definitive decision.
While the hearing is in regards to a specific decision on a specific case, Mr. Arora reminds us that whichever decision the Supreme Court will make, it will have a profound affect on
“I think its important for people that are having a problem with the decision of the court of appeals turning over this conviction for the rape to recognize that its not necessarily just about that case,” says Mr. Arora, “whatever their opinion of the individual crime might be. The question is whether a DNA sample violates your fourth amendment privilege, and that extends to all sorts of different things. Whether you’re being searched or seized while you’re behind the wheel of a car, in your home, whatever the case might be, those rights to privacy exist for a reason. The issue that is being explored by the Supreme Court is a lot larger than just the case itself.”
Kush Arora is an experienced Maryland criminal attorney with experience in similar cases at both the state and federal level. Please contact us for more information on this hearing and the affects it could potentially have on DNA testing in the state of Maryland.