Maryland Court Decision Halts DNA Samples

Police stopped taking samples from suspects who have been arrested.

Saturday, Apr 28, 2012  |  Updated 10:52 AM EDT
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Maryland Court Decision Halts DNA Samples

Jodi Hernandez

A scientist demonstrates how the DNA identification process works.

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Maryland State Police have stopped collecting DNA samples following a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court.

The court ruled that collecting DNA from suspects who were arrested is unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court decision to halt samples stems from a case involving Alonzo Jay King Jr., who was arrested for assault in 2009.

Police collected his DNA and used the sample to convict him on a rape charge related to a separate 2003 assault.

The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the rape conviction and sent the case back to Wicomico County Circuit Court for a new trial.

Attorney General Douglas Gansler is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court, and has support from Governor Martin O’Malley.

Gansler, O'Malley, and other officials feel that not being able to take DNA samples will allow criminals to get away with other offenses as well as hamper current investigations.

Despite stopping taking DNA samples from those arrested, police can still take samples from those who were convicted of violent or sexual crimes.

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