January 13, 2007
A hot week for DNA collection debate
As How Appealing documents here, two federal judges this past week declared unconstitutional the federal DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000, which requires the US Probation Office to collect a DNA sample from any probationer, parolee, or supervised releasee "who is, or has been, convicted of a qualifying offense." Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson, dissented from the Ninth Circuit's ruling that the law is not unconstitutional, contends that the DNA Act exceeds Congress's power under the Commerce Clause. And, earlier this week, Massachusetts District Judge William Young of the District of Massachusetts issued this remarkable decision holding that the DNA Act violated the Fourth Amendment rights of a man sentenced to probation for a theft offense.