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Tenth Circuit Upholds DNA Testing

Richard Banks, Mary Doyle, Stanley Acuff, Melanie Alpin and Lisa Bell, all non-violent federal prisoners, challenged amendments to 42 U.S.C. § 14132(a), et seq, which allowed officials to collect blood samples from non-violent prisoners for DNA testing. The district court upheld the amendments, and the prisoners appealed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recognized that DNA collection was a “search” that had to pass scrutiny under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The appellate court held, considering the totality of the circumstances, that the government's need to collect DNA to solve future crimes outweighed the prisoners' privacy rights. The district court's dismissal of the case was affirmed. See: Banks, et al v. United States, et al., 490 F.3d 1178 (10th Cir. 2007).

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