A Brief of Genetics, Genomics and Forensic Science Researchers in Maryland v. King
23 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2014 Last revised: 21 May 2014
Date Written: 2013
In Maryland v. King, 133 S. Ct. 1958 (2013), the Supreme Court held that Maryland’s statute requiring DNA samples from individuals arrested for crimes of violence or burglary did not violate the Fourth Amendment. One factor in the Court’s analysis is the extent to which the forensic DNA profiles invade medical privacy. The majority stated that “[t]he argument that the testing at issue in this case reveals any private medical information at all is open to dispute.” With respect to this dispute, eight scientists and two law professors filed a brief in support of neither party seeking to explain what current science tells us about the information conveyed by the thirteen short tandem repeats known as “CODIS markers,” the variations in DNA generally used in the United States for forensic identification. This publication consists of the core of the brief along with a foreword about the continuing legal significance of the issue.
Keywords: DNA databases, CODIS, medical privacy, genes, junk DNA, ENCODE, forensic science
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