Home Tag "DNA"

One Assault, Two Crime Scenes: The Challenge of Handling Sexual Assault Cases

The importance of processing a sexual assault crime scene properly cannot be emphasized enough. Sexual assault cases are actually two crime scenes—one is the location of the occurrence and the other is the body of the victim. These scenes require not only a comprehensive crime scene search, but also swift examination and questioning of the victim. AMU professor Dena Weiss, a 17-year crime scene investigator (CSI), explains the various pieces of evidence a CSI is searching for and collecting as well as how police officers can help preserve key evidence in sexual assault cases.

The Ongoing Debate About Collecting DNA After An Arrest, But Before A Conviction

By Nicole Cain M.S., full-time faculty member at American Military University

Does the collection of DNA samples from those arrested for specific offenses—but not convicted—encroach on the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizures or is it an effective investigative tool?

The goal of criminal investigators is to identify and apprehend criminal offenders.

Tipping the Scales of Justice: Solving Crime Versus Right to Privacy

By Tamara Herdener, professor of Legal Studies at American Public University

As with many aspects of the American legal system, the question of whether or not police can collect DNA upon arrest is answered by balancing interests. The legal scale weighs how much such collection intrudes on an individual’s privacy interests with how much such collection advances government interests of preventing and solving crimes.

Supreme Court Rules Police Can Collect DNA Upon Arrest, But Can The System Handle It?

By Leischen Stelter

June 3, 2013 was a historic day for police agencies across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that law enforcement officers are not violating the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches by collecting DNA samples from suspects arrested for a “serious offense.” “Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court’s five-justice majority, according to this news article.

DNA Collection In Question: Supreme Court to Rule on Police Ability to Collect DNA from Suspects

By Leischen Stelter The ability of law enforcement to take DNA samples from a person arrested for a felony offense will soon be under review by the United States Supreme Court. On Nov. 9 the U.S. Supreme Court decided to take on Maryland v. Alonzo Jay King, Jr., a case that could have national implications for law enforcement regarding how arrested subjects are processed, what biological or biometric samples may be taken from those subjects, and what investigative use may be made of those samples. What is the potential impact on law enforcement?