Legal

This page aggregates legal references to genetic and DNA policy according to state in the domestic U.S. References are organized to include legal info and popular coverage of the topic by state.

We’ll be updating this page soon, and incrementally digging into more comprehensive information at the state and city government levels. Stay tuned!

Sources include:


PRESS COVERAGE


FEDERAL LEVEL

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that forcibly extracting a DNA sample from a detainee without a warrant, court order or reasonable suspicion violated the Fourth Amendment: Friedman v. Boucher, 568 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2009).

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held that “after a judicial or grand jury determination of probable cause has been made for felony criminal charges against a defendant, no Fourth Amendment or other Constitutional violation is caused by a universal requirement that a charged defendant undergo a ‘swab test,’ or blood test when necessary, for the purposes of DNA analysis to be used solely for criminal law enforcement, identification purposes:” U.S. v. Pool, 645 F. Supp. 2d 903 (E.D. Cal. 2009)

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling: U.S. v. Pool, 621 F.3d 1213 (9th Cir. 2010).

In United States v. Mitchell, the defendant challenged the constitutionality of the federal arrestee statute that permits the pretrial collection of DNA. (42 U.S.C. § 14135a (a)(1)(A) and 28 C.F.R. § 28.12.) The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania disagreed with the District Court’s analysis in U.S. v. Pool,(645 F. Supp. 2d 903) and held that DNA extraction “without independent suspicion or a warrant unreasonably intrudes on such defendant’s expectation of privacy and is invalid under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution:” United States v. Mitchell, 681 F. Supp. 2d 597 (W.D. Pa. 2009).


STATE LEVEL

Alabama

Alabama citizens convicted of a felony or misdemeanor are obliged to submit a DNA sample, though consent is requested; reciprocally, a convicted individual can request exoneration via a DNA test, which is administered by a third-party agency independent of law enforcement or prosecutorial agency. DNA Paternity testing is available in 49 locations and permits testing arrangements between out-of-state parties.

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Alaska

Alaska conducts DNA tests via forensic services at the Alaska Department of Public Safety, which is obliged to keep records and standardize procedures about the collection, storage, analysis and use of DNA identification via their collected samples. Alaska code has documentation and procedures for the preservation of bio-evidence, and post-conviction felons are allowed to request DNA testing only if their application suggests “reasonable probability of evidence.” In addition to specifications about preservation, state law also provides particulars for standards in sexual assault case tests, and training for sexual assault case workers in the collection of DNA evidence.

Alaska host 12 DNA Paternity testing centers among state-maintained crime-labs, slowly marching toward obsolescence with developments in small-scale (more DIY) testing equipment as of 2012.

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Arizona

Arizona conducts DNA tests at the state level via the Arizona Department of Public Safety, overseen by the Criminal Justice Commission. As of 2007, an independent Forensic Science Advisory Commission was established to provide additional oversight and consultation on best practices for DNA evidence processing, meeting on a quarterly basis. Felon and misdemeanor criminals are obliged to provide DNA samples to the state, and convicted individuals are allowed to request a DNA test only if that testing will produce exculpatory evidence or that their verdict or sentence would have been more favorable if testing had been conducted previously.

Like Alaska, Arizona code has provisions for DNA testing evidence preservation, as well as a Cold Case File System and procedure definition in place as of 2007. Arizona has 27 independent paternity testing facilities not affiliated directly with the state system.

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Arkansas

Arkanasas delegates forensic services to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, unaffiliated with law enforcement or prosecutorial agencies. All convicted of a felony or sex crime are required to submit a DNA sample, and most arrest-worthy offenses can warrant collection on booking, expunged upon request if charges are not filed. DNA analysis can also be requested on behalf of a convicted individual given strong belief and proven assumption of innocence. Additional information can be found in the Arkansas Stat. Ann 12-12-1006 from 2009, which provides additional specification on state-level jurisdiction and collection of bio information.

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

California

California administers forensic service through the California Bureau of Forensic Sciences within the Department of Justice. Additional information in the California Penal Code 296.1 from 2009 provides clarification, and the state’s Crime Laboratory Review Task Force provided this report that same year, subsequently disbanding without further publication.

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Colorado

The Denver District Attorney’s Office provides some resources and research for the defense of DNA privacy here.

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Connecticut

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Delaware

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Florida

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Georgia

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Hawaii

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Idaho

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Illinois

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Indiana**

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Iowa

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Kansas

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Kentucky

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Louisiana

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Maine

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Maryland

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Massachusetts

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Michigan

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Minnesota**

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Mississippi

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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Nevada

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New Hampshire

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New Jersey

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New Mexico

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New York

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North Carolina*

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

North Dakota

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Ohio*

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Oklahoma

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Oregon

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Pennsylvania

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Rhode Island[F]

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

South Carolina

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

South Dakota

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Tennessee

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Texas

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Utah*

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Vermont

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Virginia**

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Washington

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

West Virginia

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Wisconsin

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.

Wyoming

More information on the legal particulars at state level can be found here.