UPDATED (6:00 p.m.)—U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts continued a stay in the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling that had stopped police departments in Maryland from collecting DNA samples from some arrestees.
With the delay continued, police in Maryland can continue to collect the samples until the Supreme Court issues an opinion.
Roberts, in a four-page order, wrote that there is a reasonable chance that Maryland could win its appeal and overturn the Court of Appeals ruling.
"[The Maryland Court of Appeals] decision conflicts with decisions of the U. S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Ninth Circuits as well as the Virginia Supreme Court, which have upheld statutes similar to Maryland’s DNA Collection Act," Roberts wrote.
Prior to the Court of Appeals ruling, police departments were permitted to collect DNA samples from people arrested on felony charges.
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.
Police departments around the state while the Maryland Attorney General appealed the decision.
Roberts on July 18 pending a response from King's attorneys.
Other agencies around the state have followed suit.
"It was something we did in the past according to the guidelines, and we suspended after the last ruling," Amy Miguez, an Annapolis Police Department spokeswoman, said. "Now with this ruling were are starting to collect samples again."
Annapolis Patch Local Editor contributed to this report.