Attorney Barry Scheck on taking DNA from suspected criminals

Updated

On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down a controversial decision to uphold the sampling of some suspected criminals’ DNA, a practice at least 26 states have already implemented. In a 5-4 ruling, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia sided with the liberal justices and wrote the dissenting opinion, citing indiscriminate search as a concern:

“Searching every lawfully stopped car…might turn up information about unsolved crimes the driver had committed, but no one would say that such a search was aimed at ‘identifying’ him, and no court would hold such a search lawful.”


The case has sparked a robust dialogue surrounding a suspected criminal’s right to privacy. The 4th Amendment of the Constitution states that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” Dissenters of the decision believe that without a warrant, DNA sampling breaches an individual’s rights to privacy.

On All In with Chris Hayes Monday, attorney Barry Scheck sided with Scalia’s emphasis on privacy rights for Americans. Scheck, founder of The Innocence Project, an organization that helps prisoners prove their innocence through DNA testing, explained after the show why he falls on the side of the Supreme Court. Considering Scheck’s life work in exonerating prisoners, what makes him disagree with this use of the practice? Check out the video to find out his answer.

Attorney Barry Scheck on taking DNA from suspected criminals

Updated