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New Jersey DNA Act Constitutional

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that the New Jersey DNA Database and Databank Act of 1994 is constitutional under the state and federal constitutions. It also noted that a blood sample or cheek swab constitutes a search.

The Court found the main purpose of the Act was to provide a data bank and to aid in the accurate identification of persons, which is related to the legitimate government interest of having a data bank of DNA that will help solve future crimes, exonerate others who have been wrongfully convicted, or deter people from committing crimes.

The Act applies to all individuals who are convicted of a crime. “Because of the impracticality of imposing a warrant requirement and individualized suspicion in this context, the overriding public need for the uses of DNA data, the lessened expectation of privacy of a convicted felon, and the minimal nature of the physical intrusion,” the Court found there was no violation of the Equal Protection clause under the U.S. or New Jersey Constitutions. See: State of New Jersey v. O’Hagen, 189 N.J. 140, 914 A.2d 267 (N.J., 2007).

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Related legal case

State of New Jersey v. O’Hagen