What happened to the presumption of innocence?

Over at United Liberty, Brett Bittner takes issue with State Rep. Rob Teilhet (D-Smyrna), also a candidate for Attorney General in Georgia, over his proposal to build a DNA database of anyone arrested of a felony.

Brett explains the problem with Teilhet’s planned legislation:

In this state, along with 46 other states with similar DNA collection laws, those CONVICTED of a violent felony are already subject to having their DNA taken, but this bill aims to take it further by including those whose only crime was being subject to arrest.  That is where the Southern Center for Human Rights and I agree.  This bill violates the civil liberties of those accused of a crime, not those whose rights are subject to suspension for crimes which one has committed or been convicted.

I do not use the term “slippery slope” generously, but this bill, and those like it, certainly place us on a slippery slope in terms of our Constitutional rights, as law enforcement agencies collecting these DNA samples place them in databases that are easily shared from agency to agency, especially with the recent introduction of fusion centers that allow information to be shared easily from departments and agencies nationwide.  I am sure there are many among you that may say, “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about!”, but I ask that you take a look at stories like this or this that indicate otherwise.  Neither of the victims of police violence did anything wrong either, but it did not stop the misconduct by the police that forever changed their lives.  What is to stop a “dumbing down” of the police and other law enforcement agencies to the point of merely casting a net among those possibly involved, arresting them all to eliminate those without DNA matching evidence found at the scene of a crime?  Or worse, subjecting all Americans to a mandatory DNA collection in the name of safety?

Currently, there are 21 states, including California and Tennessee, with laws in place collect DNA upon felony arrest, store it in perpetuity, and share it with whomever they like.  The rationale used by supporters of pre-conviction DNA collection is that it identifies criminals earlier and creating efficiencies in the practices of investigation, blaming rights granted by the Constitution of these United States as slowing down law enforcement investigation.  Those “pesky” rights they wish to bypass in the name of safety and investigation efficiency include a trial by a jury of peers, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and due process of law.

Even the most conservative among us can understand that anyone found innocent of a felony should not be included in such a database.

Apparently, a presumption of innocence and the right to due process don’t mean all that much to Rep. Teilhet, which is troublesome considering the office he is seeking. I understand that politicians like to appear to be “tough on crime.” It plays well to the public, but how dare you place basic civil liberties protected by the Constitution at risk to score political points.

67 comments

  1. Icarus says:

    I traded messages with Rep Teilhet on this yesterday. He explained that the proposal was still in draft form, and that a revision to only those convicted of a felony would likely be in the final version. This would expand the current database to those convicted of nn violent fellons, which have a high correlation with those who also commit violent crimes.

    • brettbittner says:

      Even his own constituent (me) didn’t get a reply to the message I sent him concerning the Fox 5 story I saw and embedded in my post at United Liberty, so Icarus fared better than I. I had to base what I wrote on the friendly reporting done by our local Atlanta affiliate. If Teilhet’s intent to revise the legislation to expand our current law to include non-violent felons (who I have to disagree about the correlation to violent crime), than perhaps he should not feature the potentially inaccurate news report on his campaign website or use his Twitter feed to direct people to see it.

    • Game Fan says:

      “He explained that the proposal was still in draft form, and that a revision to only those convicted of a felony would likely be in the final version”.

      So what do you get when you combine “slippery slope” with “slippery slime”?

      • Game Fan says:

        This is another example of why the only real card “the people” have is “not no but hell no”. Because “the details” are subject to change anyway.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      He explained that the proposal was still in draft form, and that a revision to only those convicted of a felony would likely be in the final version.

      likely? Whew! I feel a lot better!

      • B Balz says:

        The link below is what Brett referenced in his statement.

        http://www.dnasaves.org/dna_law.php These folks are a non-profit set-up to advocate for DNA registry. Their family suffered a murder of a child, thus compelling them to act to increase the efficiency of law enforcement through DNA registries.

        To me the only issue about a DNA registry is when the sample is collected; either upon arrest or conviction. It seems creating a registry upon conviction has plenty of benefits, collection upon arrest seems problematic.

  2. Rob Teilhet says:

    This news story ran before the legislation has been completed, vetted, and introduced, so some confusion about specifics is understandable. However, I think its important to clear up two points.

    First, anyone who is acquitted or against whom felony charges are dropped would be able to remove their sample from the database. Also, there are strict controls in place already in Georgia about how these samples can be used or shared by law enforcement, and these controls are not affected by the bill.

    Second, while I think that reasonable people can disagree about whether samples should be taken upon arrest or conviction, I do not think it is accurate to state that collection of a sample upon arrest affects the presumption of innocence or due process.

    For example, fingerprints are collected upon arrest, not conviction, yet I’m aware of no legal precedent that suggests that this denies a defendant their presumption of innocence or due process or jury trial rights.

    The bill will initially, with respect to felonies, treat collection of a DNA sample like collection of fingerprints. While some may disagree with this on a policy level, it is clearly constitutionally permissible.

    As Icarus has stated, I anticipate that there will be broad agreement to collect DNA from all felons upon conviction. This alone will dramatically expand our database and prevent crimes from happening and also help to clear individuals wrongly accused or convicted.

    Collection upon arrest is clearly more controversial, and more expensive, which is no small concern in these tight budget times. However, it is a debate worth having, and I think we should have it on accurate and intellectually honest terms.

    • Jason Pye says:

      First, anyone who is acquitted or against whom felony charges are dropped would be able to remove their sample from the database. Also, there are strict controls in place already in Georgia about how these samples can be used or shared by law enforcement, and these controls are not affected by the bill.

      They would be able to remove it? Why not wait until they are actually convicted of a felony? Or does “innocent until proven guilty” not apply anymore?

      The problem is a database such as this assumes guilt, otherwise you wouldn’t place someone’s DNA in a database upon arrest. That, Rep. Teilhet, is the problem with your proposal.

      • brettbittner says:

        To expand on Jason’s question further: What happens to the sample while you await trial? Can the database be expanded by your sample for that time, until you’re found innocent? That seems to be what you’re saying. In cases like Jamie Weis, the sample would be held, shared and used for 4 years before he even sees a jury, let alone has the ability to request that his sample be removed from the database.

        This sounds to me to be a clear case of putting the cart in front of the horse, since acquisition of the sample upon conviction does not seek to infringe upon an innocent person’s civil liberties.

        Personally, I disagree with the fingerprint and mugshot upon arrest, but that’s not what’s at issue here. Your expectation is to subject these innocent people to go through rolls of government red tape AFTER they have been acquitted by a jury, had charges dropped, etc., requesting that their information be removed, coupled only with assurances BY THOSE WHO COLLECTED IT that it hasn’t been shared and that it has been fully removed from the system.

    • Jason Pye says:

      And I don’t mean to come across like I wouldn’t sit down and have a beer with you, but I’ve seen enough erosion of constitutionally protected liberties over the last several years.

    • ByteMe says:

      So what exactly is the point of collecting the DNA of those arrested? To run the search for other crimes, right? How long does it take for a “hit” to happen? How backed up will the GBI be running all these requests? How much will this cost?

    • When this accurate and intellectually honest debate begins, I hope that you will submit the pro’s of pre-conviction collection. You point out some the con’s above (e.g. added expense), but the closest thing to a rebuttal is essentially, “Well, it ain’t unconstitutional!”

      That is hardly a rationale. If we are all in agreement that DNA samples should not be stored absent a conviction… then there is no legitimate reason to collect them prior to conviction. The ONLY intellectually honest reason which comes to mind is, “Many of the non-convicted people won’t know enough to opt-out, so we’ll be able to keep a greater number of samples on the sly”. Constitutional, perhaps… but still rather seedy.

      The comparison to fingerprints is a flimsy one at best. There is no emerging technology that would allow the government to learn details about my medical profile from my fingerprints… yet DNA is a Pandora’s Box of ethical implications that society is only beginning to wrestle with. The timing of a government effort to collect DNA from more citizens, simultaneous with a major government encroachment into the health care arena, is a rather tone-deaf move here in Georgia. If I were a political opponent I would be pretty aggressive in linking those two issues together.

      • ieee says:

        The comparison to fingerprints would not be a “flimsy one” if the law stated that the DNA could only be used as fingerprints are. I’ll admit that I don’t know the rules of using fingerprints but I assume that they can be used prior to any conviction and that they can be used to try to connect the person to crimes. If the collection and use of DNA were restricted to the same uses, I don’t see how it is any different than fingerprints. However, if the person is never convicted of anything, he/she shouldn’t have to do a thing to get the DNA data thrown away. That should be done and guaranteed by the state.

        Now, back to my favorite subject for stupidity and criminal governments – Sex Offender Registries. If Teilhet wants to be A.G. (or even a decent citizen), he should see if he can get his brain repaired so that it works properly in a country such as what the United States used to (and should) be. His brain is geared to work better in countries like China, North Korea, Iraq, etc.

        I’ll break it down into very simple terms and be much briefer than I usually am – Teilhet, and others like him, need to stop thinking about the underclass of people who are listed on Sex Offender Registries as a group of non-citizens to whom they can apply whatever current harassment/punishment that their little brains dream up and that they fancy at the moment. The people on the Registries have paid their debt to society. Any harassment/punishment that Georgia adds to that is a debt that Georgia owes to them. In most cases, that debt will be collected.

        Teilhet has already suggested some idiotic Sex Offender Laws that will do nothing useful. I’ve wondered if he is stupid or if just, in anticipation of being elected A.G., he wants to ensure that he and his office have plenty of legal work to do? How much legal work have the existing laws already generated? It’s a good jobs program, I guess.

        During this coming session, the legislators better budget plenty of money for it all. What was the dollar amount estimated back in 2006 when Criminal Jerry Keen was trying to get his POS HB 1059 passed into law? I don’t remember, but it was over a billion dollars within a certain number of years. I, for one, am happy that we are paying police officers to measure distances and record e-mail addresses instead of springing them loose to prey on poor drug dealers, armed robbers, and even people who just want to drive 100 MPH on our interstates. We’re preteckin chilren, ya know!

        Anyway, Teilhet might want to reconsider the “make bad laws” strategy though because when you end up with laws that are clearly idiotic, anti-factual, useless, and illegal, and then you have to defend them in court … OMG, does that make you look stupid!!! Just read some of the briefs that the state filed in defense of their “Sex Offender e-mail Registration” law! I understand that the state’s attorneys are legally required to defend the law, but the result of it is both hilarious and offensive.

    • sonofliberty says:

      “While some may disagree with this on a policy level, it is clearly constitutionally permissible.”

      But see Holmes v. State, 284 Ga. 330, (2008) where the Georgia Supreme Court held that:

      ….blood samples taken from a suspect in a criminal matter may not be used for purposes for which a suspect was not advised and to which he did not consent…..

      There’s nothing to debate.

    • btpull says:

      Simple questions: By collecting the samples on arrest vs conviction what problem are you trying to solve? What is the benefit or necessity?

  3. B Balz says:

    I am driving my ’69 Chev longbed past a highschool and it breaks down within 1,000 feet of school property. I have no previous arrests, open wants or warrants, and am legal in every possible way. I have my .22 and a Bowie knife in my truck.

    Per OCGA 16-11-127.1, I am committing a felony, by having weapons within a 1,000 of a school. If passed, this law will allow collection of my DNA and fingerprints if I were arrested in the above unlikely, yet plausible, situation?

    One can easily clear up a fingerpring mistake by provided new fingerprints. DNA takes time, and somebody sits in jail until that process is completed. How do we insure the database is both secure and accurate? One slip and somebody is mistaken for somebody alse who has done very bad things.

    Second, I believe they will have film of me resisting any attempt to gather my DNA upon arrest.

  4. Mozart says:

    Who trusts law enforcement to purge DNA samples of a person who was wrongly arrested for a felony? Anyone, anyone?

    Teilet is sadly naive, but that is part and parcel for most of the people elected to office anyway. Always want to do a “good deed”, but hardly ever have the intelligence required to understand that just because they “pass a law”, that doesn’t mean it will be followed.

    All I want is an Attorney General to follow the multitude of laws on the books and to leave the innocent alone.

  5. Mad Dog says:

    For a short period of time I had a temporary federal appointment to the 2010 Census. I did some recruiting among other things.

    Even fingerprints from 20 years ago triggered ‘hits’ in our background checks of potential employees.

    Seriously, someone who had been arrested and fingerprinted by the GBI while underage still had the finger prints on file. That ‘record’ and that record alone disqualified him from consideration as a employee.

    Never charged in court. Never indicted. Underage at the time. But the finger prints were still on file. And that file record kicked him out of consideration.

    The GBI could not provide an arrest record. Just a “we have his fingerprints on file and we don’t know why” type of response.

    I don’t know the details of a 20 year old arrest and finger printing. But, I did see this happen.

    So I have to go with not taking a DNA sample at arrest. Don’t want to say don’t do it. I sort of think mine should be on file just as a protest of sorts. “I’ve done nothing wrong ya jerks! Take my DNA and shove it up your test tubes.”

    So don’t give up your DNA unless its voluntary.

    And don’t vote for this jerk as Attorney General. Just MHO.

  6. Game Fan says:

    And for the pop culture crowd we need a good “fusion center” meme. 🙂 I’ve actually never heard of Fusion Centers. Yeah yeah I know. Stupid me right? A Fusion Center could be anything actually. A hair salon, a sex club, an early ’70s rock opera starring Roger Daltrey…

    • brettbittner says:

      That’s why I linked to them. They are still flying under the radar, for the most part. I learned about them from someone that’s a part of Texans for an Accountable Government just this year.

      • Game Fan says:

        They keep showing a picture of a “face man” from the Secret Service with no last name. So why don’t the Fusion Centers have their own “face men” with no last names? Are they less photogenic? (over at the Fusion Centers)

  7. IndyInjun says:

    Perkins,

    I agree totally. (If another post appears, excuse me WP ‘ate’ my first offering to the PP God of Discriminating Tastes)

  8. Dave Bearse says:

    Teilhet approved of proposed legislation capping sales taxes on new automobiles at a levle that would maximize taxation of the purchase of new middle class vehicles last year, and now this?

    Here’s to hoping Baker reconsiders.

  9. Game Fan says:

    Fusion Centers: Comprised of crack teams of professionals. Professionals who get the job done. Professionals who tell other agencies where to stick it. New professionals from a new agency (for a new American Century) No, you won’t find any Michael “is there anything I should be tweaking” Brown type political cronies here. (partly because it’s hard to find people if you don’t have a last name)

  10. Game Fan says:

    Fusion centers: Where all the critical data is compiled and collected. And then thrown together to map out the scenario. All the info. Names, dates, DNA, the Jonas Brothers…

  11. Game Fan says:

    But seriously, since our police, GBI, FBI are already facing funding issues, why drain already strained resources? Collecting DNA from sex crimes seems like a no-brainer. However beyond this, wouldn’t they have diminishing returns? How or why would you collect DNA from a white collar criminal or a computer hacker? His/her “signature” or “identy” would be found elsewhere.

  12. B Balz says:

    Rep. Teilhet:

    ” … it is a debate worth having, and I think we should have it on accurate and intellectually honest terms. … ”

    Hope this brief discourse was both ‘accurate and intellectually honest’ enough for you, sir.

  13. Harry says:

    I see no problem with DNA collection at pre-conviction stage, if handled along the same lines as fingerprints and mugshots. I trust our police to make sound arrests based on judgment and evidence. Yes, some innocent people are caught in the net and their data is collected, but so what? Yes, there are some correct acquittals of innocent people, but there are also incorrect acquittals of those who actually committed the crime. If DNA and other evidence is collected and preserved, then such successfully acquitted criminals will be more likely detected when they again commit a crime.

    I think some of you libertarians doth protest too much. If society ran according to your wishes, we’d be in much worse shape.

    • Mozart says:

      Egads, Man! “If society ran according to your wishes, we’d be in much worse shape?” HOW? We would have a much smaller federal government. We would have a much smaller federal budget. There would be more prosperity. There would likely not be a trillion-plus federal debt.

      Harry…are you a Marxist or something?

  14. B Balz says:

    Hi ya Harry,

    Can I join your world, it sounds all nice and fluffy?

    Here in this world people are picked up by the Police and charged with felonies everyday. And not because the Police are wrong or inept, no sir! By example, this is a true story (and not about me!)

    A college prank gone terribly awry: One student takes anothers’ vehicle (keys left in ignition). Goes for a little romp, parks car about one mile away from inital parking spot. No damage to vehicle, whatsoever. Student is ID’ed and charged with Grand Theft – Auto. Charges dropped upon further investigation.

    33 years later, student has difficulty getting into Canada for work due to felony arrest. Would have BIG trouble getting any security clearance, etc. What if DNA was taken, is student gonna know to have it purged? The State certainly has no reason to show him how to do it.

    This is not a partisan issue, it is a basic civil liberty issue. As stated, current law and a myriad of potential pitfalls await this sort of legislation. Putting a partisan hat on an issue of such basic civil liberty is pretty naive. I am a lifelong GOP taxpayer, BTW.

    In the words of Steven Colbert, ‘Rep. Teilhet, you are on MY list.’

  15. Game Fan says:

    “I think some of you libertarians doth protest too much.”

    Well maybe you’d care to elaborate. But let me just say this. Getting in tune with Libertarian philosophy was a positive thing for myself all the way around. If you thing Libertarians are a bunch of pervs and drug pushers, you’ve got it all wrong. Actually politically active Libertarians are some of the most law abiding folks I’ve met. Do you think someone on the wrong side of the law is going to stick their neck out and go public just for the “freedom” thing? But the best thing about Libertarianism is this thing here (you jackass)

    “If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

    • Harry says:

      Sorry, I don’t buy your appeal to Samuel Adams. We are living in a society of primitives and sociopaths who are taking advantage of law-abiding citizens on many levels. Law enforcement needs all tools it can get, and I don’t lose sleep if there are (currently) law-abiding military inductees and applicants for drivers licenses being pout into such biometric databases. I want to get maximum possible future matches. The possibility of matches are and will be a great deterrent. You libs need to get over it. Biometric databases aren’t being used to round up guns or locate taxable income.

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        Harry

        Stop giving them ideas. I agree with most of your posts and I am big on law enforcement. However, I am fond of this amendment : “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

        I also like this portion of the next amendment: “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; ”

        So if I am arrested for any reason and my DNA is placed on file against my will, even though I may be innocent of that arrest, it seems to be that this idea of Teilhet goes directly against the spirit of these two amendments.

        Due process of law can’t mean arrest someone for something that they aren’t guilty of, take their DNA, and then use that against them for something else, can it?

        • Harry says:

          I don’t see where DNA evidence infringes on Fourth Amendment rights more than than fingerprints and mugshots. Collecting information when processing drivers licenses and pre-arrest evidence for possible future matches, is not the same as invasive search and seizure. The fact is we’re in a war with criminals and terrorists.

          • B Balz says:

            ” … a PEZ dispenser of of bad ideas … ” – shamelessly swiped from Buckhead Conservative.

            We are at war, a real war, with criminals, but giving up biometrics is not the answer.

            The court system routinely lets chronic, violent offenders to post bail. Collecting DNA will do nothing to resolve that fact.

          • ByteMe says:

            The fact is we’re in a war with criminals and terrorists.

            Like we’re in a “war” with crack addicts?

            Just because you’ve declared it a “war” doesn’t make it a war. Or a “fact”.

            As to the difference between DNA and mugshots/fingerprints, maybe if you read a little about what else you can determine about a person via their DNA, you might wonder how much power you want to give to the government by letting them have and maintain that information.

          • Harry says:

            “The court system routinely lets chronic, violent offenders to post bail. Collecting DNA will do nothing to resolve that fact.”

            No, but collecting DNA will allow evidence from subsequent crime scenes to be matched with previous episodes.

            If you were a crime victim you’d want every tool available.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            I have been a victim of a violent crime and I disagree with this idea. I collected twenty stitches from a bottle thrown at my head because I was walking to pay phone in a neighborhood that I didn’t live in, and I think that gives me a little bit of a soapbox to stand on.

            As you may recall, in 2005 Georgia abandoned collecting fingerprints with drivers licenses. This concept is sort of like letting the police search your car or home if you have nothing to hide.

            “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            Harry,

            If you were a crime victim you’d want every tool available.

            Apparently Rep. Teilhet is that tool!

            I’ll give Rep. Teilhet credit for good intentions, but I simply do not trust government. Upon conviction (or pleading to a lesser crime) then by all means collect the DNA data or – an even better idea – the person’s entire head if we’re talking about child molestation, but not for arrest where there is no conviction or plea.

      • Ida Claire says:

        Sometimes the primitives and sociopaths are hired to wear a badge. And officers love their new ‘toys.’ Give them this ‘toy’ and they will almost immediately find situations to use it whether warranted or not. How incredibly naive to think that this won’t be abused.

  16. Game Fan says:

    I’d bet more cops and members of other agencies see it my way. Not that that influences my opinion or anything. If you have a finite amount of resources you focus on what works best ( to catch criminals) Cow towing to another agency via new laws and requirements just hamstrings good people and disrupts agencies.

  17. B Balz says:

    @Byte I agree 100%.

    What’ next, complete citizen compliance with biometrics and fingerprints gathered upon live birth?

    I have marvelled that rising generations are unaware of the erosion of their civil rights and accepts each new attack on those rights so willingly.

    DNA collection from convicted sexual predators (not necessarily someone accused of a ‘sex crime’. ) makes some sense due to the high rate of recidivism for those crimes.

    Beyond that, the idea of any State routinely collecting DNA information is simply chilling to me.

      • ByteMe says:

        And Saddam had WMDs that were an “imminent threat” to our country that required us to commit 7+ years and hundreds of billions of dollars to fighting that “war”. Uh huh.

        We’ll all just be happier being “weak” in your eyes instead of succumbing to swapping security for liberty, which is something we consider a weakness in our own eyes.

          • ByteMe says:

            Not really, it’s the same concept writ larger: the idea that the government has the right to do whatever it wants to do to maintain “security” just because someone decided that there was a “imminent threat” by criminal “terrorists”.

            Maybe the telecom wiretapping without a warrant is a better example if you want to keep it closer to home. But it’s the same false choice between security and liberty.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            Ok Byte,

            I’ll stray down this path with you. I will be the first to admit that no cash of WMD’s were found. However, give me a county the size of California, tell me you are coming and I’m betting I could play hide or go seek or smuggle WMD’s into Syria with the best of them. Remember that they found cannon shell casings with anthrax traces in them.

            Warrentless wiretaps were used to keep track of suspected terrorists overseas when they called into the US. None of these were used in any convictions of an American citizen. Rules of engagement, not justice system.

            Even if I said there never any weapons of mass destruction, Sadam was backing terrorists; maybe not the 9/11 terrorists, but terrorists all the same. He was giving money to the families of suicide bombers in Israel. If that were happening in Savannah instead of Tel Aviv, you might have been more on board with going after a sponsor of terrorists.

            Before boots were on the ground, W still have Sadam the chance to step down and let the weapons inspectors in. Sadam was behaving much like Iran is now.

            With WMD’s I’d rather attack too soon than attack too late; but then again, I’m not running for President.

            There is a difference in the way a country treats it’s citizens and the way it deals with others countries. It’s an apples and oranges thing. Then again, I don’t think we should take our POW’s and try them in an American court room either. POW’s should not have the same rights as American citizens accused of a crime.

          • ByteMe says:

            Too many false assumptions and ridiculous remarks in your posting. Not gonna do it. Not gonna waste my time.

          • Mozart says:

            I was reading this thread from the bottom-up and I came upon ByteMe’s post of “Too many false assumptions and ridiculous remarks in your posting. Not gonna do it. Not gonna waste my time.”

            …and I thought…could that be GOPGeorgia he’s responding to? And, sure ‘nough, it was. 🙂

    • ieee says:

      Well, I don’t know what you consider a “sexual predator” but there are few types of sexual offenses where the recidivism rate is very high at all. Learn the facts yourself, don’t support government propaganda (i.e. lies) or uninformed people who blindly repeat it.

      Additionally, with sexual offenses, the perpetrator is known to the victim well over 80% of the time (child offenses – over 90%). In most cases, there is no need at all for DNA. The person who needs to be accused is known.

      Lastly, if you take a look at the FACTS in Georgia. The huge majority of people who have been linked to crimes via DNA have not been people convicted of sexual crimes. That includes for – pay attention here – sexual crimes. You can verify that for yourself. Don’t believe government propaganda.

      If we are going to have such laws, then let’s have them for everyone. And frankly, since governments have been stealing my rights for over a decade with no facts or due process, I don’t really care what happens to anyone else’s. I’ll vote to take DNA from everyone at birth.

  18. sonofliberty says:

    Harry….

    Those who would give up essential liberty….to purchase a little temporary safety….deserve neither liberty nor safety….Benjamin Franklin….1759

    Still holds true 251 years later…..

    • IndyInjun says:

      When the “Patriot” Act was passed, the Bush-ites were admonishing we Constitutionalists with this sort of thing – “If you are not a terrorist, what are you worried about.

      In hearings to extend this act, Senator Feingold pressed the point home that 75% or so of the uses of the “Patriot” Act powers were in DRUG cases.

      When government takes your rights, they are GONE and you cannot believe one damned word of assurances that the new government powers will be narrowly construed in favor of the US citizen.

      A democratically elected Government of a “Christian” country herded those doomed Jews onto freight cars. Wouldn’t they have rioted and risked death right then and there, if there had not been “assurances’ from THEIR government and false hope engendered thereby?

      Government assurance = LIE, 9 times out of 10.

  19. IndyInjun says:

    When the “Patriot” Act was passed, the Bushites were admonishing we Constitutionalists with this sort of thing – “If you are not a terrorist, what are you worried about.

    In hearings to extend this act, Senator Feingold pressed the point home that 75% or so of the uses of the “Patriot” Act powers were in DRUG cases.

    When government takes your rights, they are GONE and you cannot believe one damned word of assurances that the new government powers will be narrowly construed in favor of the US citizen.

    A democratically elected Government of a “Christian” country herded those doomed Jews onto freight cars. Wouldn’t they have rioted and risked death right then and there, if there had not been “assurances’ from THEIR government and false hope engendered thereby?

    Government assurance = LIE, 9 times out of 10.

  20. Game Fan says:

    Harry, uh, sorry about calling you a jackass. But I was drunk at the time and that’s what I do when I drink. (get on the internet and call people JACKASSES). The irony here is I’m a pretty big jackass myself. 🙂

  21. Game Fan says:

    re:
    “biometric databases”

    This is only part of the issue. What we’re really talking about is “bodily fluids” and “real DNA” which is taken involuntarily from “real humans”. There’s plenty more angles here too Harry. And without getting into Alex Jones territory the fact is that human DNA has significant “market value” these days. So we run the risk of not only de-humanizing people with draconian measures but also turning “law enforcement” into “collection agencies” for big pharma and agribusiness. So I guess one question I have is who REALLY wrote this legislation.

  22. Game Fan says:

    The UK is something of a DNA record kleptocracy, with a national DNA database now well in excess of three million records, and with new sampling opportunities available to the police on remarkably easy terms. These days it’s ever so easy to get onto the UK database, but how do you get off?

    What’s that you say? You don’t? Well, up to a point – but it’s not strictly true to say that once you’re on the database you absolutely can’t get off again. It’s just very, very hard and it’s going to take you a long, long time.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/26/dna_database_removal/

  23. Game Fan says:

    Hey, speaking of lobbyists and big business and less freedom and DNA I’m thinking the lobbyist babes may have already collected a handful (or mouthful) of DNA already. And without even arresting anyone! So that’s a start I guess. (for the biometric database)

  24. Game Fan says:

    I’m sure if you eliminate sexual crimes the percentages of solved crimes via DNA would be even less. And no, I’m not approaching this from the Puritan angle. But the fact is with sexual crimes often there’s ample DNA evidence which, well, is relatively easy to collect. Game, set, match, ect…

    DNA solves just one in 150 crimes
    DNA helps solve fewer than one in every 150 crimes, a senior police officer has admitted.

    By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
    Published: 5:27PM GMT 05 Jan 2010

    Of the 4.9 million crimes recorded by the police each year, just 33,000 – or 0.67 per cent – are solved directly as a result of a DNA match, according to Chris Sims, who speaks for chief constables on the issue.

    The figures will further fuel concerns over the expansion of the national DNA database, the largest of its kind in the world, and its true effectiveness.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/6937558/DNA-solves-just-one-in-150-crimes.html

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