Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers supporting Respondent.
Argument: A state’s search for DNA samples from an arrestee’s body without a warrant or any basis for suspecting the DNA is connected to a crime is unreasonable, regardless of the balance of interests. Physically intrusive searches like the collection of DNA from inside an arrestee’s body require a warrant and probable cause. The balance of interests alone does no determine reasonableness even for less intrusive bodily searches. The state’s collection of DNA from arrestees falls outside the limited circumstances permitting warrantless, suspicionless searches. Accordingly, the judgment of the Maryland Court of Appeals should be affirmed.
Application of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Maryland Public Defender, and Interested Legal Scholars for Leave to File Amicus Curiae Brief and Amicus Brief in Support of Defendant and Appellant Mark Buza.
Argument: Maryland v. King did not establish a per se rule authorizing warrantless collection of DNA from arrestees. California arrestee DNA collection law violates the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeal properly recognized California's constitutional protection against unlawful searches and seizures precludes the warrantless collection and search of arrestee DNA. DNA collection implicates significant privacy interests. DNA contains a person's most private and personal information. As the cost of DNA processing drops, the government is already expanding its collection and use of DNA. Excessive DNA collection poses very real threats to liberty.