Court to consider California’s DNA collection law

by Paul Elias, Associated Press
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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – An 11-judge appeals court panel will consider the constitutionality of California’s mandatory collection of DNA samples from everybody arrested in the state.

Voters passed the law in 2004 to go in effect in 2009. In 2009 the American Civil Liberties filed a lawsuit alleging the law is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

Law enforcement officials say expanding the state’s DNA collection helps in solving so-called cold cases.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals appeared ready last year to strike down the law. But the U.S. Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote upheld a similar law in Maryland before the 9th Circuit could rule. Because of the high court’s ruling on Maryland’s narrower law, the appeals court ordered another hearing.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Monday.

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