US police are now legally allowed to take DNA samples from those who are arrested, even if they have not been convicted for a crime or gone to trial. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold the controversial practice. on
Critics claim that taking DNA samples from anyone in custody without a warrant is considered an unconstitutional “search”, but the high court believes otherwise. US police who arrest anyone for a felony are now legally allowed to take a cheek swab of the arrestee to obtain a DNA sample, regardless of whether or not an individual has been convicted.
The court compared this practice to fingerprinting and photographing, and ruled that it is “a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.” The court also described DNA sampling as the 21st century version of fingerprinting.