'Spit and Acquit': Legal and Practical Ramifications of the DA's DNA Gathering Program
Orange County Lawyer Magazine, Vol. 51, No. 9, September 2009
9 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011
Date Written: April, 14 2011
A new practice has surfaced in the Orange County, California criminal justice system. Formally titled the 'DNA Collection and Crime Deterrence Program' but informally dubbed 'spit and acquit,' it has become a standard tool used to negotiate criminal cases, from petty crimes up to felony charges. While this may initially appear to be an easy way to dispose of criminal cases and clear heavily clogged court calendars, the hidden perils and ethical questions associated with such a barter mandate closer scrutiny. This article examines and critiques the Orange County District Attorney’s procedure of collecting defendants' DNA in exchange for a reduction or outright dismissal of criminal charges.
Keywords: DNA, criminal, ethics, plea bargain, DNA collection, defendant, crime deterrence, spit and acquit, district attorney, crime
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