But the lawyers who wrote that book aren’t flattered that the high court quoted their book, The New York Times’ Adam Liptak reports.
One of the co-authors, Peter J. Neufeld, said he felt “not great” about his book, “Actual Innocence,” being used to argue for warrantless DNA testing of arrestees. Part of the problem is that Justice Anthony Kennedy took the quote out of context. Here’s the quote:
“[P]rompt [DNA] testing … would speed up apprehension of criminals before they commit additional crimes, and prevent the grotesque detention of … innocent people.”
That quote was actually referring to DNA testing of evidence at crime scenes — not DNA of arrested people.
“What we were saying had nothing to do with post-arrest testing of suspects,” another one of the book’s co-author’s, Jim Dwyer, told The Times.
The court’s closely divided decision last week struck a huge blow against civil rights and privacy rights. Justice Antonin Scalia — one of the court’s most conservative justices — sided with three liberal justices to write a scathing dissent.
Scalia raised the possibility that cops could start collecting DNA from anyone who gets a driver’s licence, flies on an aeroplane, or goes to public school.
“Perhaps the construction of such a genetic panopticon is wise. But I doubt that the proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection,” Scalia wrote.
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