Lunaya Pravda

25 January 2007

Round up the usual suspects!


Bills would require samples of DNA from crime suspects

A bill in the House would require police to take DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony or a gross misdemeanor, while a more aggressive bill in the Senate would require a DNA sample from anyone arrested for those offenses. Existing law requires DNA samples to be taken only from convicted felons.

The Washington State Patrol's DNA database feeds the one used by the FBI.

But this quote is really a gem:

"The problem we have is that in our justice system, people are assumed innocent until proven guilty," he said. "I support the idea of the bill, but you can't help law enforcement all the time."

I can't pretend we still operate under "innocent until proven guilty" as a standard in our judicial system, but even if we did, that's a PROBLEM?

Additionally, requiring DNA upon arrest for crimes that have nothing to do with DNA evidence on the theory that the arrested individual will likely commit more severe crimes is more than Draconian - it brings us into the era of Thought Crime. You might become a more violent offender, so you, Mr. Shoplifter, deserve to be in our little database for life, just in case you decide go career in your criminal life.

It's shit like this that destroys my faith in America. The fact that this would even be proposed seriously (by more than one person, no less)... I can't even go on.

All I can do is hope that in 30 or 40 years we'll look back on this period in American history with disgust and shame. Wishful thinking, I know.

And I'm not placing any bets on the possibility that if such an attrocity were to become law, we'd suddenly find police abusing their "round up the usual suspects" powers just to collect more DNA profiles.

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