Saturday, November 25, 2017
News Roundup

Court appears conflicted over DNA sampling issue

RECOMMENDED READING


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court justices sounded closely split Tuesday on what one of them called the most important criminal procedure case in decades — a challenge to whether police may routinely take DNA samples from suspects and put the results in a national database.

"Why isn't this the fingerprinting of the 21st century?" asked Justice Samuel Alito. DNA is even more accurate than fingerprinting and has a great potential to solve horrible crimes, he said.

But his fellow conservative, Justice Antonin Scalia, took up the other side, arguing that the court has not allowed police to freely search people or homes in hopes of finding evidence of other possible crimes.

"If you stick a swab in his mouth, that's a search," Scalia said. "The purpose is to catch bad guys. But sometimes, the Fourth Amendment stands in the way."

Meanwhile, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer said DNA testing seemed entirely reasonable. It's "not intrusive," he said, referring to the mouth swab. And it's more accurate and reliable than fingerprinting, he said.

Others worried about going too far. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked if police could stop someone suspicious on the street and ask to take a DNA swab.

"Why not do it for every person who comes in for a driver's license?" asked Justice Elena Kagan, posing another hypothetical.

State attorneys from all 50 states have joined the Obama administration in urging the court to approve DNA testing of people who are arrested but not convicted of serious crimes. All states now authorize testing the DNA of people who are convicted of felony crimes.

Meanwhile, 28 states have gone further and begun taking DNA samples from people who are arrested for a serious crime.

But last year, Maryland's highest court ruled it was an unconstitutional search to take a DNA swab from a man arrested for assault. The suspect, Alonzo King, was later convicted of an unsolved rape based on a DNA match and was sentenced to life in prison. The court will issue a decision in Maryland vs. King in several months.

Comments

No. 7 Florida finishes No. 17 Gonzaga in 2OT; No. 1 Duke up next for Gators

PORTLAND, Ore. — Jalen Hudson scored a career-high 35, including eight 3-pointers, and No. 7 Florida downed No. 17 Gonzaga 111-105 in double overtime Friday night at the PK80 Invitational. Senior point guard Chris Chiozza added a career-high 26 poin...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Region football: Plant 13, Lakeland 10

Region football: Plant 13, Lakeland 10

LAKELAND — The game — and the season — were supposed to be over.Lakeland was set to exact revenge. The Dreadnaughts had the lead and the ball in the final three minutes and were heading for a field goal. Then it happened. The magic continued.Plant’s ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Region football: Venice 48, Tampa Bay Tech 17

VENICE — Tampa Bay Tech not only had to stop a hot receiver in Friday night’s Class 7A region final against Venice, but a hot running back as well. That proved to be too much.Indians receiver Jaivon Heiligh caught 14 passes for 193 yards and three to...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Region football: Armwood 31, Ocala Vanguard 17

SEFFNER — Armwood appeared to be on its way to yet another rout through the first 24 minutes of football Friday night.James Miller delivered a crunching hit on the opening kickoff. The defense looked suffocating, holding Ocala Vanguard to a mere 23 y...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Region football: Immokalee 42, Lakewood 14

IMMOKALEE — The final score wasn’t truly indicative of what transpired on Friday night.Lakewood fell to a dynamic Immokalee squad 42-14 in a tough environment in a Class 5A region final.The Spartans (9-2) forced three turnovers and held Immokalee (12...
Updated: 6 hours ago
State semifinal football: Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 49, Clearwater Central Catholic 3

State semifinal football: Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 49, Clearwater Central Catholic 3

CLEARWATER — Stocked with a wealth of Division I-A commits and prepared by a heavy-duty schedule, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna spent three months building for Friday night’s Class 3A state semifinal game.The Lions played at another level against top-s...
Updated: 6 hours ago

State semifinal football: Hialeah Champagnat Catholic 38, Cambridge Christian 0

TAMPA — Hialeah Champagnat Catholic was well on its way to a third unanswered touchdown, but the Lions just couldn’t stop blocking their own path. In one second-quarter drive during Friday’s 2A state semifinal against Cambridge Christian, Champagnat ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning attitude under fire after loss to Capitals

Lightning attitude under fire after loss to Capitals

WASHINGTON — You don’t often sense frustration in captain Steven Stamkos’ voice, at least not this season. With the Lightning off to its best start in franchise history, there haven’t been many reasons to chide. Every criticism seems nitpicky. But af...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Falcons: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

The Bucs face the defending NFC champion in its new home Sunday in Atlanta.Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:MATTY ICE-FOLLIESRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: T...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

PITTSBURGH — Miami spent the better part of 13 months cultivating the nation’s longest winning streak behind a series of comebacks that returned the swagger to "The U" in all of its "Turnover Chain" glory. Sluggish through the first half against Pitt...
Updated: 7 hours ago