Essential Pittsburgh
8:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

The Legality of DNA Swab Testing After Arrest

DNA swab testing may become the "gold standard" of reliable evidence gathering.
DNA swab testing may become the "gold standard" of reliable evidence gathering.
Credit Kendra Griffiths / flickr.com

In a 5-4 majority, the United States Supreme Court concluded suspects can be subjected to a police DNA test after arrest and before trial and conviction. DNA samples would go into a national database and could possible be used to solve "cold cases." However, it calls into question the issue of personal privacy vs. public safety.

These tests, which would typically entail a cheek swab, have become highly controversial seeing as the tests do not require enforcement officers to obtain a warrant. Pitt Law Professor David Harris discusses the effect this could have on law enforcement.