AirTalk for December 9, 2013

Federal court weighs California DNA collection

Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is urging the court to uphold California's DNA collection law as a constitutional law enforcement tool.

Today, an 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear oral arguments on a controversial California law that requires police to collect DNA samples from every arrestee.

Voters passed the law in 2004 and the law went into effect in 2009. Law enforcement officials say that the mandatory requirement would make it easier to solve old cold cases. Both California Attorney General Kamala Harris and President Obama are supportive of the bill. Opponents argue the law is too broad and DNA collection should be limited to those who are arrested for violent and serious offenses.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Proposition 69 charging that it’s unconstitutional.  


Roberta Schwartz, Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office

Peter Bibring,  Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU

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