The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that it is legal for the police to take a DNA sample at the time of an arrest for a serious crime.
The ruling came about after a court in Maryland said it was illegal for a police to take Alonzo King’s DNA. King was arrested for felony second-degree assault. When his DNA was checked, it matched the DNA connected to a rape and robbery case from 2003. King was then convicted of rape and received a life sentence.
As well as setting the policy for DNA swabs, the Supreme Court’s ruling reinstates King’s rape conviction, which was overturned when the Maryland court said that his DNA should not have been taken in the first place, since he was arrested for unrelated reasons.
The court was nowhere near unanimous on the issue, with five judges in favor and four dissenting.