With a few strokes of a pen, Gov. Bev Perdue signed away the Fourth Amendment rights of anyone charged with a violent crime.
Not convicted, mind you, but charged. So much for presumption of innocence.
At a special bill-signing ceremony on Greenville, the governor inked her approval of the DNA Database Act, which gives deputies from across the state the authority to take cheek swabs from anyone charged with a violent felony or misdemeanor sex crime, according to the Gaston Gazette.
The bill, although a bi-partisan effort, didn’t pass smoothly. However, it did have the support of Attorney General Roy Cooper as well as law enforcement, district attorneys and victim advocates.
Eventually it made through, much to the dismay of those concerned about the civil rights violations the bill, and others like it exhibits. The I.R.s Corey Friedman was one of the few journalists to mention this aspect in his article for the Gazette. Friedman writes that Fourth Amendment groups opposed the bill because, “they believe collecting DNA from arrestees undermines the presumption of innocence and amounts to a warrantless search.”
Originally, the bill called for anyone convicted of a felony, including white-collar crimes, to be swabbed.
Most outlets reported the signing as a bit of a puff-piece, following the success of DNA in the case of murdered state school board member Kathy Taft earlier this year.
While I agree that DNA testing has led to the arrest of criminals and the exoneration of innocent people, I disagree with the collection before conviction.
But hey, if you’re innocent, what do you have to worry about?
The state having your DNA for no good reason. Open your mind and think about the implications of that.
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