June 24, 2013
In a move lawmakers say takes a “sensible approach to fighting crime,” New Jersey senators approved a bill that would require DNA testing for people convicted of a disorderly persons offense. The legislation is only expected to affect a small percentage of offenders but we all know it’s only a matter of time before the DNA of every citizen in America is entered in the federal database.
The New Jersey bill is co-sponsored by state Sen. Nicholas Sacco, D-North Bergen, and Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge and was approved by a vote of 35-3. DNA would be required from anyone convicted of a “more serious disorderly persons offense,” such as domestic violence, shoplifting, prostitution and some drug-related crimes.
“DNA is one of the most powerful tools we have to identify perpetrators and exonerate those falsely accused of crimes,” Sacco said. “A more expansive DNA database will enable us to solve investigations with greater speed and accuracy. By adding certain serious disorderly persons offenses … this legislation only affects a small percentage of offenders and takes a sensible approach to fighting crime.”
Currently, the federal government and 28 states authorize the practice of collecting DNA samples from people arrested in connection with serious crimes. In a Supreme Court ruling earlier this month arguing the legality of a Maryland state law authorizing warrantless DNA collection from people who had been arrested but not yet convicted, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, “taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee’s DNA, is like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”
However, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a stern dissenting opinion, arguing that the Fourth Amendment forbids searches without reasonable suspicion to gather evidence about an unrelated crime.
“Make no mistake about it: because of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason..Solving crimes is a noble objective,” he concluded, “but it occupies a lower place in the American pantheon of noble objectives than the protection of our people from suspicionless law enforcement searches. The Fourth Amendment must prevail.”
According to Justice Scalia, “DNA testing as it is actually practiced is to solve cold cases, not to identify the suspect in custody.”
Apparently, though, as long as you’re voluntarily giving up your DNA it’s fine. Earlier this month law enforcement officials in Alabama set up roadblocks in St. Clair and Bibb counties, asking motorists to voluntarily submit blood and DNA samples.
In 2009, while protesting that Texas’ thumbprint requirement for renewing a driver’s license was unconstitutional, Alex Jones was already anticipating that Americans would soon be required to turn over their DNA, and it’s no secret that the federal government has been quietly and surreptitiously building the DNA database for years.
In 2010, the Department of Motor Vehicles in Penn Branch in Southeast Washington began offering free HIV tests to anyone applying for a driver’s license. Participants were offered up to $15 to help toward their DMV costs and the program was strictly voluntary but you know everyone who’s participated is now listed on the federal Combined DNA Index System.
In 2009, police officers in Idaho were actually forcibly taking roadside blood samples from people they only suspected of drunk driving, a practice which has been in place in some areas since 1995. In an article for PrisonPlanet.com, Paul Joseph Watson wrote,
“…officers in Texas and Idaho are training to withdraw blood from “suspects” as a replacement for the standard breathalyzer test, primarily because police can’t make anyone breathe into a tube but apparently, in the “land of the free,” they can forcibly hold someone down and jab a needle into their arm and take their blood, “a practice that’s been upheld by Idaho’s Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.”
It’s highly unlikely that anyone caught shoplifting a pack of gum would someday go on to become a murderous thug who’s able to evade capture but, according to New Jersey and the United States Supreme Court it’s always a possibility, so better to get that shoplifter’s DNA on file now – just in case.