Keep DNA Evidence Private (Opinion)

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Cleveland Plain Dealer /


DNA profile, DNA database, police investigation, Ohio Supreme Court


Discusses a November 2012 Ohio Supreme Court ruling. The court held that the Fourth Amendment does not protect an individual's personal DNA profile. In the court's words, "[a] person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her DNA profile extracted from a lawfully obtained DNA sample."

The case, State v. Emerson, originally involved DNA evidence legally obtained from Emerson through a valid warrant in a rape investigation. Emerson was acquitted of the rape charge, but his DNA profile was kept in the Ohio DNA database. His DNA profile could then be searched again and again, anytime law enforcement compared a sample from a new crime scene with the DNA profiles in the database.


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