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Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DNA Sample: Your Orange County Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

The L.A. Times has the story, headlined Arrested in O.C.? A DNA sample could buy freedom. Here's the lead:

Orange County, which already has one of the nation's most aggressive programs for taking DNA samples from convicts, has quietly begun offering a deal to some people who have only been arrested: give a DNA sample and have your charges dropped.

The district attorney's office, which runs its own database, has started expanding its program by handling some cases "informally," Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas told the Board of Supervisors this week. In those cases, if a person who has been arrested agrees to give a DNA sample, "we would not even file" charges.

The story also addresses a wide range of objections to the program, from law enforcement agencies that want prosecutions to civil libertarians who find the program coercive.

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