The Fourth Amendment In The News

659 words - 3 pages

The Fourth Amendment in the News
Vincent Luckey
May 13, 2013
Keith Lima

The Fourth Amendment in the News
Balancing privacy versus government interests is a challenging dilemma concerning the Fourth Amendment. Battles between advocates of due process and crime control occur in every state of the union often extending beyond the criminal trial into the arena of appeals. The United States (U.S.) Supreme Court uses its power of judicial review to decide if laws by the executive branch and legislative branch are constitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court also uses its power of judicial review to analyze various lower court decisions for the appropriate application of inherent ...view middle of the document...

The Maryland Supreme Court found that the DNA Act was unconstitutional and the state’s initial seizure of King’s DNA was without probable cause reversing the lower court’s decision.
Maryland prosecutors contend that obtaining DNA samples from arrestees is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment because “the search is incident to a lawful arrest” (Waksman & Goodman, 2010, p. 11). The state’s interest leans more toward public safety than personal privacy and that the warrantless search was, in fact, reasonable. Furthermore, the state asserts that an arrestee should not expect the same level of privacy as that of a citizen of the public. Crime control advocates consider that most arrestees are repeat offenders so possessing a DNA sample database of violent offenders provide a more efficient way of solving cold cases and as a result it improves public safety. On the other hand, the Maryland Supreme Court views the state’s initial seizure of King’s DNA was without probable cause. As a result, the act of acquiring the DNA sample was an unreasonable search and seizure because the...

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