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Abstract

In 2003 Louisiana legislature enacted the DNA Detection Of Sexual And Violent Offenders Act requiring that any person arrested for certain offenses must submit to a DNA sample extraction to be stored with the State’s DNA databank, for the purpose to be utilized as a tool for identification in the criminal investigation and in discovering missing persons. The comment, after a brief presentation of the history of the Act and the DNA technology overview, argues that the Act infringes the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. It presents the already established standards of probable cause as well as the balancing test, the special needs test and the Katz test applied by the US Supreme Court in Fourth Amendment cases along with the minimally intrusive analysis. Next it applies these well established search and seizure standards to the DNA Act and comes to the conclusion that the Act is unconstitutional because the governmental purpose pursued by the Act does not outweigh a person’s right to genetic information while a real intrusion exists with the probability the sensitive genetic information might be exposed beyond identification purposes.

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