Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Could Your DNA Soon Be in a State or Federal Database?

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

On June 3, 2013 a narrowly divided United States Supreme Court made a decision that could possibly be the most significant ruling in recent history to affect how the criminal justice system operates. In the case of Maryland v. King, justices ruled 5-4 that police can collect DNA from an individual under arrest, even without conviction. In addition, suspects who are detained in custody will have their DNA collected as well. The decision affects all United States residents and may lead to a substantial portion of DNA collected from U.S residents. DNA collection is ambiguous in the 28 states where it is being practiced, but the Supreme Court has signaled to all 50 states that DNA collection does not violate the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable search and seizure. One of the many goals of this project is to examine the dialogue and opinions across racial and ethnic communities as expressed through newspapers across the United States and assess the levels of support and opposition to DNA collection. To achieve this goal, I am utilizing Lexis Nexis and Ethnic News Watch databases using key terms to collect the desired information. We hypothesize there will be significant differences among the newspapers and that underrepresented populations will be more likely to oppose DNA collection.

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Could Your DNA Soon Be in a State or Federal Database?

On June 3, 2013 a narrowly divided United States Supreme Court made a decision that could possibly be the most significant ruling in recent history to affect how the criminal justice system operates. In the case of Maryland v. King, justices ruled 5-4 that police can collect DNA from an individual under arrest, even without conviction. In addition, suspects who are detained in custody will have their DNA collected as well. The decision affects all United States residents and may lead to a substantial portion of DNA collected from U.S residents. DNA collection is ambiguous in the 28 states where it is being practiced, but the Supreme Court has signaled to all 50 states that DNA collection does not violate the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable search and seizure. One of the many goals of this project is to examine the dialogue and opinions across racial and ethnic communities as expressed through newspapers across the United States and assess the levels of support and opposition to DNA collection. To achieve this goal, I am utilizing Lexis Nexis and Ethnic News Watch databases using key terms to collect the desired information. We hypothesize there will be significant differences among the newspapers and that underrepresented populations will be more likely to oppose DNA collection.