Local Reaction to DNA Swab Ruling - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Reaction to DNA Swab Ruling

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SALISBURY, Md. - A United States Supreme Court ruling allows for the DNA swabbing of people arrested for violent or serious crimes giving law enforcement another tool for solving crimes.  However, there is a fear that the use of the swabbing could escalate.

The DNA swabbing can now be a part of the booking process, just like fingerprints, for anyone arrested for a serious crime.

"DNA is inherently more accurate than fingerprints of mug shots so we can actually particularly identify those wrong doers who are moving about our community.  And then the second thing that is important for us, you can use this information to exonerate those who are wrongly accused or falsely convicted," said Salisbury Police Chief, Barbara Duncan.

Alonzo King of Salisbury was arrested in 2009 for menacing people with a shotgun.  When he was arrested, he was swabbed for DNA and that DNA linked him to an unsolved rape case from 2003.  King was convicted of rape and is serving a life sentence.  After a long legal battle, the Supreme Court upheld the use of the swabbing.  But there are some who think it goes to far.

"It is an invasion of privacy because you really haven't been convicted yet, you've just been arrested," said LaReine Kindle of Princess Anne.
"Honestly, to me, it is no different that getting your fingerprint taken.  It is the first thing they do when they take you in is take your fingerprint so why not make the next thing be take your DNA," said Ed LeComete of Willards.

Some also fear that over time, every arrested, no matter their crime, will be subject to the DNA swab.

"Just don't take it to the point where oh if I do something wrong, we're going to swab your mouth and you'll be on file forever, like you've done something," said Ty'Kela Davis.

"I think anything that warrants being taken in to the police station would warrant needing DNA," said LeComete.

The Supreme Court was split 5-4 on their decision and they don't seem to be the only ones unsure about the use of the swab.

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