In addition to putting dangerous people behind bars, DNA samples will undoubtedly lead to rightfully exonerating defendants who might otherwise be incarcerated or even face a death penalty.
Scalia worries that the law will go beyond serious crimes.
“If you believe that a DNA search will identify someone arrested for bank robbery,” he said, “you must believe that it will identify someone arrested for running a red light.”
Scalia is almost certainly correct, but we believe the good far outweighs the bad in this ruling. There’s a bipartisan bill in the state Assembly that would add New York to the states that approve DNA swabbing. Even if the Supreme Court ruling might make the question moot, we still urge its passage.