County Police Resume Collecting DNA Samples

Collection resumed at 6 p.m., just one day after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts stayed a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling.

UPDATED (6:45 p.m.)—Baltimore County police have resumed collection of DNA samples from people arrested on felony charges.

County Police Chief Jim Johnson announced the decision late Thursday afternoon.

Johnson, in a statement, ordered the resumption of DNA collections beginning at 6 p.m.

The decision to once again collect the samples comes one day after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issues a stay on a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling banning the practice.

County officials initially said Wednesday, following Roberts' order, that the samples until after opponents had an opportunity to file a response with Roberts.

State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said he changed his mind after he and Johnson spoke with Maryland State Police officials and were given assurances that they were able to resume accepting the samples and "their meticulous record keeping would allow us to identify the samples should the stay later be lifted."

Shellenberger said he is no longer concerned that county police will experience difficulties resulting from ceasing DNA collection after restarting today.

"Chief Johnson assured me his department can easily flip the switch and turn this off if needed," Shellenberger said.

County police from persons arrested on felony charges in April after the state's highest court ruled 5-2 that the practice was unconstitutional.

The ruling was in response to an appeal filed by Alonzo King who was arrested in 2009. Wicomico County collected King's DNA at the time of his arrest and later charged him in a 2003 rape, for which he was ultimately convicted.

Lawyers for King argued that the DNA swab violated their client's Fourth Amendment rights.

Roberts has given King's attorneys until July 25 to respond.

Buck Harmon July 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Once again...your emotion has drawn comments down to name calling,,,, Perhaps you could provide us with your definition of what it means to be a socialist..?
FIFA July 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM
First - a Birther is one who believes that President Obama was not born in the USA. Zoobie is a Birther just as much as you are male. That's not name calling. Buck did you read his stuff? Hawaii falsified a birth certificate!? Second - http://www.sp-usa.org/ - The Socialist Party USA sums it up pretty well.
FIFA July 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Buck, you don't have to use Obamacare either, you just have to buy insurance like you and your employer have to pay FICA or Medicare tax if you have earned income. No opting out (except for some special federal/state employees).
Evets July 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM
What does being arrested have to do with anything? You said you agreed with Freddy. Freddy said, "I don’t know what the big deal is giving up DNA. If you’re not a criminal what’s the problem? I much rather have everybody’s DNA on file..." Are you asserting that being arrested makes one a criminal? Lots of criminals are never arrested and some people who are arrested are not criminals. Being arrested does not make you guilty of a crime.
Freddy July 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Well Evets hats off to your fathers service and sorry him and your family had to go through this. Did they get the people who did this? Now my story I have a family member that was beat down and shot left for dead after a robbery a few years ago. This person still on the loose if the police had the DNA in their tool box maybe just maybe the person would be behind bars today and a family would have some closure. I know the thug left DNA because my family member fought back and multiple blood types were found. Maybe if Maryland wasn’t such a pansy state with pansy liberals living in it with pansy gun laws maybe he could have handled the situation there and then and the family of the thug could have been on here saying the victim did not have to kill my good boy. An eye for an eye justice is need in this country to stop the madness.
Buck Harmon July 20, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Define socialism FIFA.... and you're idea of earned income as well...
Buck Harmon July 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Currently the thugs and criminals have very little fear of dealing with an armed victim...very few are armed..by rules...if the Second Amendment were to be allowed to function as it was intended thugs and criminals would diminish...fewer victims by legislation and letting human beings protect themselves...as it should be..
Buck Harmon July 20, 2012 at 01:15 PM
FIFA, I have to discount your last statement here...it made no sense.
Brigitte July 20, 2012 at 01:47 PM
The problem with it is just exactly what Sean is saying. They could just decide to come pick you up under some false allegation, get your DNA and turn you loose! So, now everyone knows ( or thinks you have been arrested or at the very least suspected of illegal activity), and now they have DNA from someone that is not a criminal. That is not right. Now, if you get arrested and are charged with something with some kind of evidence, then yes, they should take the DNA. But, not because of some kind of false accusations or just to get it. That's crazy!
Tiffany July 20, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Isn't the topic about DNA collection?? I agree if you are arrested for a violent crime, your DNA should be collected! It's proven to be very helpful this far.
John July 20, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I guess the people against taking DNA are also against drug testing at work and very against drug testing people receiving welfare.
Freddy July 20, 2012 at 02:13 PM
If you’re not a criminal you have nothing to hide. Or do you? I guess the ones on here against it are also against security checks at the airports, drunk driving check points, back ground checks for jobs or entry into secure buildings as well as many other security precautions to protect people.
FIFA July 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Buck your quote; "FIFA, Social Security started as a voluntary program...you didn't have to participate if you didn't want to....you don't have to use Medicare if you choose not to" You have to participate in these programs, you have no choice if you have earned income. Hope that clears it up.
Parkvillehoney July 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Good point, John. The average citizen is kidding themselves if they think they have rights. I have always had random drug testing at work. I didn't have a choice if I wanted to keep my employment. I find it ironic that the people protesting these laws are criminals. The last lawsuit against collecting DNA was from a criminal in jail on another crime. His collected DNA, on another arrest, came up as a match to an unsolved rape. Now here we have an opportunity to solve crimes and people are against it. Sorry, Big Brother is into our lives more than we know. If there is a way to take a criminal off the street, I say go for DNA testing for everyone.
FIFA July 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Earned income is defined by the IRS, not me in my example, generally this includes W-2 wages and earnings from certain partnerships and LLCs for example. Does not include on an individual basis, certain capital gains, dividends, interest, royalties and the like. Although with the Affordable Care Act, parts of the above will be subject to a Medicare tax for high income earners.
FIFA July 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Buzz, by "participate" I mean pay.
theadore mann July 20, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yes it is collected at the time of arrest but if you are found not guilty it is throw out. It is only collected for felonies or sex offenses. When was the last time you heard someone being charged willy nilly with a felony? The whole process is two 30 second cheek swabs. Finger printing takes longer than that. Stop thinking worst imaginable case and start thinks of all the rapists, burglars, and murders that will be caught!
david b July 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I for one was CHARGED NILLY WILLY for a felony, arrested and released in morning with charges eventually dropped by the accuser. The reason why my son's mother and my now ex-wife persuaded someone else to charge me with a crime was at that time I had custody of our son and the only way "legally at that point" she could get custody was if I was unable to have custody. Hence charge me, have me arrested, take custody of son. My first point is, clearly ARRESTED and FOUND GUILTY should be the only time DNA can be obtained. For those of you saying "what do you have to be afraid of, if you dont do a crime you dont have anything to be afraid of" evidently you have never had anyone accuse you falsely of anything. I hope this continues for you or YOU could end up giving up your DNA. With that being said, having that DNA of a proven criminal can and will help solve cases in the future if that criminal is released from incarceration. My second point I'd like to state is how many times have we learned of detectives, politicians, prosecutors and other figures in authority using that authority to committ crimes themselves. Planting evidence, hiding known facts and evidence, telling lies to investigators and on and on. Do I really trust the government, law, or other humans (even myself) to always do the righ thing? If they have your DNA they can always plant it where they need it planted if they need you in jail.
Tim July 20, 2012 at 05:46 PM
This gentlemen makes very fair points here. A little high on the conspiracy side, but I totally understand and emphasize with your view David. I'm sorry this garbage happened to you.
theadore mann July 20, 2012 at 06:16 PM
That didn't seem willy nilly at all to me. That sounded like you had someone file false charges against you or we are only getting your side. Either way your dna has been destroyed. And if in the time in between collection and your case being dismissed it found you were a rapist I would say that is a great reason to take the dna at time of arrest. Thanks for kinda helping me prove my point.
Freddy July 20, 2012 at 06:19 PM
This will be an ongoing court battle and everyone on this thread will have a difference of opinion and will voice their points for and against the DNA samples. Eye for an Eye justice doesn’t mean vigilantism entirely. Again Maryland is a pansy state which doesn’t believe in the death penalty. If someone takes a life their life should be also taken (hence eye for an eye) if convicted without a reasonable doubt. One way to ensure this is the use of DNA sampling no different the video evidence, eye witness evidence again just another tool.
david b July 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
The willly nilly comment was in jest to a previous post. Believe me it wasnt willy nilly to me when the police woke me out of bed with my young son witnessing it all when what really was going on was retalliation for me having custody of my son. Yes you are hearing one side and without me giving all the facts, hers, mine and the truth you cant draw a responsible conclusion. What the facts say is that the charges were dropped sometime afterward by the accuser, the mother and myself restored our marriage (for 10 more years) and that because someone wanted it "their way" my fingerprints and DNA are probably in a database for criminals. If thats how we're going to do it in this country, why not just put transponder chip in all of us as new borns, keep the sample of DNA at birth and TRUST that the government and law enforcement will always do the right thing. I have family in law enforcement and politics so I have hope, but up to this point there are too many REAL conspiracies and set ups out there. Best wishes to all who are placed into the hands of our judicial system. Its not a pretty place for the innocent or the guilty but at least the guilty did the crime and are now doing the time. Seriously if you have money, all should be well with you, if not sorry to say maybe not so much. The guilty get off, the innocent dont in too many cases as well. I am not taking sides at all, just pointing out the flaws. Still the best country in the world!
Buck Harmon July 20, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Buck Harmon July 20, 2012 at 09:37 PM
how do you know that it's destroyed or thrown out...?
Paul Amirault July 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Freddy, if you are guilty of no crimes would you mind if the government put a recording device on your computer to see what sites you have visited? Not that you are guilty or accused of any crime but we sure would catch all those that visit child pornography sites and many other questionable sites.
Edward July 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Less bothersome than the closed circuit television cameras at every interesection. Hook those up to their mega computer fusion centers with facial recognition and it could make someone feel like they were being watched. America land of the free was sort intended to be a land of free people, like were all brothers and trusted one another but is turning into a country of no trust. A godless sh-thole.
Sean Tully July 21, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Freddy, from your answer I am assuming you support police using speed cameras. Okay. So, now, do you think everyone should be required to pay the tickets up front without the right to face a judge on the charges? That is not exactly the same as the DNA issue, but it is similar.
Sean Tully July 21, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Kathleen, people will make very personal comments. I considered using a pseudonym but decided I would stand behind my opinions. Most of those making rude comments hide in the shadows of anonymity.
Lorna D. Rudnikas July 22, 2012 at 03:51 AM
So very glad to hear that Justice Roberts is on the ball!!!
Lorna D. Rudnikas July 22, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Curious....what is the criteria for "pending approval" status....is it now Patch's SOP???


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