Arizona Court, No DNA Analysis of Juveniles Not ConvictedJun 28, 2012
By Howard Fischer
Analyzing the DNA samples of youngsters who have not been found guilty of any crime is an unconstitutional warrantless search, the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled.
In a unanimous decision, the justices said the state is free to force juveniles accused of certain serious offenses to provide a DNA sample. Justice Andrew Hurwitz, writing for the court, said that is little different than fingerprints or mug shots.
But Hurwitz said that legal parallel ceases to exist once the state submits that sample for processing by the Department of Public Safety crime laboratory. He said that processing results in the state obtaining "uniquely identifying information about individual genetics."
What it also means, Hurwitz said, is that DNA profile is placed into both state and national databases so police agencies can use it to see if a youngster is linked to any unsolved crimes. The justices said that, absent a juvenile actually being adjudicated delinquent, there is no reason for the government to have that information.