House Reaffirms DNA Collection Practices

A March 14 Baltimore Sun article reports on the House action to remove a sunset date from a State DNA collection law even as it is being considered by the United States Supreme Court. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the State’s practice of collecting DNA for those arrested but not convicted of certain felonies was overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals.  The State challenged the Court of Appeals holding and the case is now before the Supreme Court.  Local law enforcement and corrections agencies have been involved in the DNA collection efforts.

As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs whether to strike down Maryland’s controversial DNA collection law, the House of Delegates on Thursday voted to extend it.

The 2009 law allows police to collect DNA samples from people arrested for certain violent crimes. It is set to sunset at the end of the year. By a 135-1 vote, the House decided to make it permanent.  The measure now moves to the Senate.  …

Gov. Martin O’Malley, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and some Maryland prosecutors have endorsed the law as crucial part of the law enforcement system.

In the program’s first three years, more than 33,700 samples were collected, and they led to 42 arrests and 13 convictions, according to an April 2012 report by the Maryland State Police.