Evidence

Dissent balks at top state court's decision that shed DNA can be collected like fingerprints


Asked during an interview at a Maryland police station to provide a DNA sample to help out in an investigation of a sex crime involving a former schoolmate, Glenn Joseph Raynor said no.

But a detective had noticed Raynor rubbing his bare arms against a police chair and brought in a technician to swab it. The result was a rape conviction for Raynor, who appealed on the grounds that the DNA test was conducted without his consent.

Last week the state’s top court affirmed his conviction in a 4-3 ruling, saying in a majority opinion written by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera that shed DNA is equivalent to fingerprints, according to the Baltimore Sun and Courthouse News.

The three dissenting judges on the Maryland Court of Appeals disagreed, arguing that the DNA test violated Raynor’s reasonable expectation of privacy.

“The majority’s approval of such police procedure means, in essence, that a person desiring to keep her DNA profile private, must conduct her public affairs in a hermetically sealed hazmat suit,” wrote Judge Sally D. Adkins in dissent.

Raynor’s lawyer could not be reached for comment, the Sun reports.

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