It is crucial to note that collection of DNA without consent of an individual unreasonably intrudes on an arrestees’ expectation of privacy in a number of ways. Firstly, it leads to individual private information being accessed by law enforcement officers without authorization, which is against the constitutional principle of protection of individuals’ privacy. DNA information can be used to access other sensitive private information about a person that should remain private (Barbour, 2011). Therefore, taking DNA samples without personal consent is not right, as its result in those taking the samples intruding in personal life of an individual that they should not at all.
Secondly, the collection of DNA samples may result in personal future information being accessed by the wrong people. For instance, DNA information contains sensitive future data about a person’s financial transactions and other secrets that are not supposed to be accessed by any person. This means that a person right to privacy is violated as future information about his or her life is accessed without authorization. It is the constitutional right of a person to have privacy in life, whereby any information about his private life is not supposed to be accessed by other parties without consent. In conclusion, it is wrong to take DNA samples without a person authority, given that it amounts to one’s privacy being intruded in a way that is not right based on the Fourth Amendment, which gives people right to privacy.
The law allows police officers to collect DNA data for any person entering the criminal justice system. The DNA samples can be used to convict a person for a crime he committed and at the same time be used to exonerate those who have been falsely accused (Barbour, 2011). The police officers have the right to keep the DNA files of a person even after he leaves the criminal justice system. Those who are not convicted, their DNA samples can also be kept by the police for life. On the other hand, in the case of those who are convicted, their files are handed over to the correctional department for safekeeping. For example, the DNA sample is kept even after a person leaves the criminal justice system, in order to monitor his behaviors, so that he or she can be arrested easily after committing any crime. This means that police officers have the right to keep the DNA file of a person for his entire life, even after one leaves the criminal justice system.
DNA samples are used mainly for purposes of personal identification and they tend to be more accurate compared to fingerprints. Therefore, according to the constitution of the United States and many state laws, law enforcement officers have the right to collect DNA sample of a person and help determine whether he committed a crime or not. DNA samples, thus, can be used to determine whether a person committed a crime in the past or not. DNA samples collected from a person suspected of committing a certain crime in the past can be used to match the DNA samples collected at the crime scene, to determine whether they match or not (Barbour, 2011). For example, DNA samples can be used to resolve a mysterious crime committed, and the only way that law enforcement officers can be able to get the person who committed it is through matching DNA samples. It is not illegal to match DNA samples, as they help in collecting evidence that is critical in getting individuals who commit various crimes. Therefore, DNA as a form of evidence should continue being used, despite it being slow, when it comes to evidence processing.
Barbour, E. C. (2011, June). DNA Databanking: Selected Fourth Amendment Issues and Analysis. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.