U.S. Supreme Court opens doors for search and seizure - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

U.S. Supreme Court opens doors for search and seizure

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The U.S. Supreme Court Justices voted five to four on Monday to allow police to begin collecting DNA evidence when you're arrested.

"I think as long as we follow the court's ruling, and I would say they're probably is going to be a very specific list of crimes that this will have to be applied to," said Marion Chief of Police John Eibeck. "So in other words if you get a speeding ticket we're not going to say open your mouth and swab your mouth right there. It's going to have to be certain types of crimes that come into play."

The ruling by the justices does say that police can use a cheek swab for collecting the DNA, as long as that person is arrested for a serious crime. The definition is now up for debate.

"I'm very concerned. I think the idea that simply because someone is arrested that they have to be subjected to DNA swabbing and DNA testing," said Richard Whitney, a civil rights attorney in Carbondale. "And to me this is another brick in the wall. To require someone to submit to an invasive procedure simply because they've been arrested, not convicted of anything, seems to me to be very offensive. I think all of should be outraged and alarmed by this ruling."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote and author of the court's opinion. Justice Kennedy called the DNA cheek swab, "a legitimate police procedure" that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution which limits search and seizure.

"I feel it's fine. If you don't have anything to hide you should be okay with it," said Lori Walker of Marion.

"I agree to disagree with taking the DNA," said Terese Longo of Marion. "And I think they need to solve other problems in this country besides that. I think the supreme court could rule on other issues other than DNA, and worrying about the people of the United States."

Police do say it's going to take them a few months to get officers trained and supplies of the DNA kits.

"I think it will be great in the long run. It will take us time to get up and running on it," said Chief Eibeck. "And hopefully we'll be able to solve some crimes that we otherwise would've been unable to solve. So it's going to be a great tool."

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