constitutionally, that is.
Using relative's DNA cracks crime, but privacy questions raised
By Jim Spellman, CNN
Denver, Colorado (CNN) -- Using DNA to catch criminals has become common, but Denver police this year demonstrated how the practice can be taken to a new level: They tracked down a suspect not through his DNA, but through that of his brother.
But some privacy advocates are crying foul.
"Family members have done nothing wrong to get in the database," said Maryland defense attorney Stephen Mercer. "And this is an example of the web of suspicion of people who have committed offenses being widened to include their entire family."
Mercer has been fighting familial DNA searches since 2003. He was part of an effort that led to Maryland being the first state to outlaw familial DNA searches.
"People have a reasonable expectation of privacy of their DNA," he said. "It's a basic violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution"
"I've yet to hear anyone explain how this is a violation of the U.S. Constitution," he said. "The bad guy abandoned the DNA at the crime scene. They have no expectation of privacy."