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CCR Joins Amicus in Case Challenging DNA Sampling of Arrestees

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Attorneys Warn of Threat to Privacy and Security of Individuals and Communities

Contact: press@ccrjustice.org

July 26, 2011, New York – Yesterday, CCR joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other civil liberties groups to file a brief of amicus curiae in the case, United States v. Pool.  In Pool, the Ninth Circuit will sit en banc to determine the constitutionality of taking and indexing DNA samples from arrestees – individuals who remain innocent until proven guilty.  The brief, filed by EFF, argues that the government may not seize a person’s most private and personal information – one’s DNA – without a warrant and without individualized suspicion. 

DNA stores and reveals an enormous amount of private information about individuals and their family members, including sensitive data about health, race and gender characteristics.  The massive and haphazard collection and indexing of DNA portends a society in which every American’s DNA will be sampled and profiled, and threatens the privacy and security of entire communities. 

CCR joins with EFF, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and Generations Ahead in urging the 9th Circuit to confront the serious implications of this rapidly evolving technology, and to find that the warrantless seizure and repeated search of DNA taken from mere arrestees is unconstitutional.

See below to read a copy of the brief.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.