Category Archives: DNA

Reason: How Detectives Caught the Golden State Killer—and Unleashed a Catastrophe for Civil Liberties

Reason: How Detectives Caught the Golden State Killer—and Unleashed a Catastrophe for Civil Liberties by Paul Detrick (“Police were finally able to catch the serial killer using DNA genealogy databases—violating many innocent people’s constitutional right to privacy.”)

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NC: Officer waving down a motorist at 3 am was a seizure

“The issue in this case is whether a driver is “seized” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when he is tailed by a marked police cruiser down empty streets at 3 a.m., followed into an empty parking lot, and … Continue reading

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EFF Objects to Un-Warranted Police DNA Searches

EFF: EFF Objects to Un-Warranted Police DNA Searches by Eric Weiss (“The Electronic Frontier Foundation is arguing that law enforcement officers should not be able to collect someone’s DNA or perform searches in a consumer-facing genealogy database without first obtaining … Continue reading

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TX1: Police coming to door for knock-and-talk wasn’t a trespass

Police came to defendant’s door for a knock-and-talk, and, when he opened it, the officers smelled marijuana. They went off for a search warrant. Approaching the door for a knock-and-talk was not a trespass. Howard v. State, 2021 Tex. App. … Continue reading

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MO: DNA could be taken from def’s genitalia without a warrant on arrest shortly after alleged crime because of exigency

Exigent circumstances permitted the police to take DNA samples from defendant’s genitalia within minutes of an alleged rape. Time was of the essence because the DNA could be lost if defendant were left to his own devices or even possibly … Continue reading

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CA8: Presenting def with DNA SW after he lawyers up wasn’t attempt to reopen interrogation

Presenting defendant with a search warrant for DNA swabs during an interrogation after he lawyered up was a statement of fact and not an attempt to get him to talk again. Thus, Miranda not violated. United States v. Zephier, 2021 … Continue reading

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N.Y.Co.: Warrant to seize DNA includes state’s ability to test

When a warrant is obtained to get evidence, here DNA, a separate warrant isn’t required to test it. People v. Belliard, 2020 NY Slip Op 20346, 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 10747 (N.Y. Co. Dec. 22, 2020). “The totality of the … Continue reading

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LATimes: The untold story of how the Golden State Killer was found: A covert operation and private DNA

LATimes: The untold story of how the Golden State Killer was found: A covert operation and private DNA by Paige St. John:

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TX7: Def had no standing to challenge the seizure of an aborted fetus’s DNA

Defendant had no standing to challenge the seizure of an aborted fetus’s DNA that connected him to the pregnancy. Sharp v. State, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 9025 (Tex. App. – Amarillo Nov. 17, 2020). Officers had an arrest warrant for … Continue reading

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NY: Ex ante DNA warrant process didn’t challenge PC and it was otherwise reasonable

In New York, a search warrant for corporeal evidence allows the target to contest the probable cause before issuance and execution of the warrant on reasonableness and probable cause. Here, defendant didn’t challenge the probable cause, and the warrant could … Continue reading

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DE: Lack of police experience in finding touch DNA on firearms precludes finding PC here

For probable cause to seek DNA from defendant to link him to clothing worn in a crime, the police don’t need DNA to start. The officer’s experience here that DNA has been found in the past with clothing is not … Continue reading

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ABA: A Practitioner’s Guide to Police Use of Genealogy Sites and the Fourth Amendment

ABA: A Practitioner’s Guide to Police Use of Genealogy Sites and the Fourth Amendment by Antony Barone Kolenc (in Criminal Justice magazine)

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NY Times: Why a Data Breach at a Genealogy Site Has Privacy Experts Worried

NY Times: Why a Data Breach at a Genealogy Site Has Privacy Experts Worried by Heather Murphy (“Nearly two-thirds of GEDmatch’s users opt out of helping law enforcement. For a brief window this month, that didn’t matter.”):

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OR: Parents’ consent to taking DNA from juvenile wasn’t valid

A juvenile accused of a sex offense also has to consent with his parents to taking a DNA swab. The parent’s consent alone is not enough. In re H. K. D. S., 305 Ore. App. 86, 2020 Ore. App. LEXIS … Continue reading

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FL1: FDLE’s failure to remove DNA after acquittal in prior case wasn’t a separate 4A violation nor was it subject to the exclusionary rule

FDLE’s failure to remove defendant’s DNA from the state CODIS database after his acquittal in a prior case wasn’t a Fourth Amendment violation nor subject to the exclusionary rule to keep it from being used in this case. The evidence … Continue reading

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RI: Reasonable use of force to take inmate’s DNA under SW wasn’t grounds for suppression

The trial court erred in granting defendant’s motion to suppress the taking of his DNA by force under a search warrant when he refused to cooperate. He already had a reduced expectation of privacy in the jail, and the state’s … Continue reading

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Fox5NY: DNA from coronavirus face mask leads to arrest in child molestation case, police say

Fox5NY: DNA from coronavirus face mask leads to arrest in child molestation case, police say by Kelly Taylor Hayes (“A face mask used amid the coronavirus pandemic helped police in California arrest a man suspected in a child molestation case … Continue reading

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NE: Indicia linking def to premises searched could be subject of SW; affidavit didn’t need a detailed explanation of CODIS for magistrate

Obtaining defendant’s CSLI in February 2017, 16 months before Carpenter, was in good faith and reasonable. That information could thus be used in an affidavit for search warrant for his house because probable cause was otherwise shown for it. Also, … Continue reading

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MA: DNA swab taken by consent during arrest without PC is suppressed, but state can do it over on remand

Defendant was arrested for murder, handcuffed and taken in for interrogation, all without probable cause. His statement was suppressed, and the state fails to show that obtaining his buccal swab during this time would clear even the low bar for … Continue reading

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TN: DNA sample was subject to inevitable discovery where def was subjected to another one for a homicide two years later

Defense counsel wasn’t ineffective for not objecting to a DNA sample where defendant claimed it exceeded his consent. The post-conviction court found that it didn’t. Moreover, discovery was inevitable because another DNA sample was validly taken two years later as … Continue reading

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