Supreme Court’s DNA Decision Boosts Colorado’S Confidence In Law

While some other states might be in a panic over the Supreme Court’s recent decision about DNA sample collecting, Colorado residents might think the entire matter sounds familiar. That is because Colorado lawmakers already enacted a law in 2010 that allows a more liberal approach regarding which criminal suspects‘ DNA samples can be collected.

Earlier this week the court affirmed what state lawmakers who are for the current law already feel: collecting DNA samples without a warrant at the time of an arrest does not violate rights granted by the United States Constitution.

The controversial ruling did not come easily; at least it didn’t pass in the court overwhelmingly. In a 5-4 vote, the dissenters’ argument that the expansion of acceptable DNA collection might be a slippery slope was outweighed by the supporting justices’ argument.

Those for the DNA collection of more criminal suspects without conviction and without a warrant view DNA similarly as fingerprints. Therefore, it doesn’t seem like a major violation of privacy or unreasonable search and seizure to take a swab sample from a suspect’s cheek. And if the procedural change can pin a suspect for more crimes than one, then, “Why not?” some argue. It is a matter of time and cost efficiency.

Current law allows authorities to collect a DNA sample when a suspect has been charged with a felony in Colorado. With the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, some might wonder whether lawmakers here will move to expand the use of DNA collection. If there is a development in this matter at a local level, we will post an update.

Source: The Denver Post, “Supreme Court affirms Colorado DNA collection laws,” Sadie Gurman, June 4, 2013

About Eric Anaya

Criminal Defense Attorney Eric S. AnyaEric Anaya has been practicing criminal law for over a decade. While attending law school, Eric was appointed to the University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents by the Governor of New Mexico. Eric decided to move to Colorado to accept a position in the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office. He prosecuted hundreds of cases in County Court, but quickly was promoted to prosecute felonies. Eric made the conscious decision to change his practice and his life to defending those wrongly accused. Eric has successfully handled hundreds of cases.

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2020-03-26T09:07:01-06:00June 7th, 2013|Violent Crimes|