Mr. Druyon Testifies Against Mandatory DNA Swabs

Mr. Druyon was also asked to testify in late February on Utah’s Capitol Hill in front of the House of Representatives as well as the Senate, arguing AGAINST a proposed bill that would require every person ARRESTED for a felony offense to submit to a DNA swab. Mr. Druyon argued that such a search of a person violated that person’s right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment. Mr. Druyon had to follow a tough act: Elizabeth Smart had just testified moments earlier, requesting the bill be passed. She testified that “people that have nothing wrong should not be afraid of having their DNA taken” …and “there is so much good that can come from the obtained information..” Although she should be commended for her courage in surviving a horrific abduction years ago, Mr. Druyon argued that the same arguments might be made for allowing law enforcement to pull any random vehicle over and searching it briefly for drugs: “If the driver has done nothing wrong, they don’t have anything to hide…or….there is so much good that can come from officers randomly searching someone’s person if there actually is drugs on them…” Mr. Druyon argued that although there is an apparent minimal inconvenience and good information that may come from a mandated DNA collection at arrest that may solve previously unsolved cold crimes, such a procedure is still a search within the meaning of the Constitution and should require judicial oversight, and should not be permitted to be done by a law enforcement officer that has the power to arrest any person of a felony, whether there is probable cause a crime has been committed or not.

Mr. Druyon argued that, notwithstanding the recent United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Maryland v. King, wherein the court, in a split decision, ruled that law enforcement would not violate a person’s fourth amendment right to unreasonable searches if they took a DNA sample at ARREST for certain SERIOUS felonies, the proposed Utah Bill was unconstitutional because it greatly exceeded the King decision in that it permits law enforcement to extend such a swab to ALL felony arrests, not just serious ones. Such a broad application of Maryland v. King, Mr. Druyon argued, is unconstitutional. If this bill is passed, Mr. Druyon concluded, it will significantly increase the number of lawsuits against the State of Utah for violating individuals right to be free from unreasonable searches of their persons. This bill is by far more unconstitutional than the bill analyzed in Maryland v. King, and paves the way for states to perform warrantless DNA searches on anyone, for any reason, for any minor offense.

As Justice Scalia so insightfully noted: “Make no mistake about it: As an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason [traffic offenses included].” Maryland v. King 569 U.S. ___(2013), at 17 (Scalia, J., dissenting).

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