Monday, March 21, 2005
3rd Cir upholds DNA collection as condition of SR
In US v. Sczubelek, (3/21/05, No. 03-2173) the 3rd Cir., following other circuits, upheld the constitutionality under the Fourth Amendment of the DNA Act. This law requires those in custody or on supervised release, parole or probation to give a DNA sample if they have been convicted of a qualifying federal offense such as bank robbery. The Court applied a reasonableness analysis under US v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112 (2001). The Court concluded that the intrusion was reasonable based on the following factors: the intrusion of a blood test is minimal, those on supervised release have a reduced expectation of privacy, the government has a compelling interest in the collection of identifying information on offenders, probation officers have no discretion regarding who is required to give a sample, the uses of the samples are limited, and the samples can be expunged if the conviction is reversed. Judge McKee dissented.