Maryland DNA Collection Law Turned on Its Head

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled today that significant portions of a law authorizing police to collect DNA samples at the time of arrest for suspects of violent crimes are unconstitutional.

The court found that if you are only arrested – as opposed to charged and processed – and there is no warrant, you should be free from “unreasonable” searches. Accordingly, the court tossed a significant portion of the Maryland DNA Collection Act which authorizes law enforcement to collect DNA samples from suspects who have been arrested.

Judges Barbera and Wilner dissented from the majority opinion. I would have, too. I just don’t think DNA is an unreasonable search, I really don’t.

You can find the full opinion in King v. State here.