During a news conference yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced proposals for the use of GPS tracking for restraining orders and the expansion of DNA collection, from an extra 68,000 individuals from across the state.
DNA is currently only taken from those convicted of some misdemeanors and felonies, but more than half of all American states are expanding collection.
The new proposals will make it legal to take DNA upon felony arrest and misdemeanor arrests, as well as upon the conviction of any crime.
Walker’s claims the move will cost $6 million of taxpayers money, and defended the plans:
“The families of victims felt that if there was a larger database, it would make it easier to catch the perpetrators of crimes done to individual victims. It has also been used to exonerate people who are generally innocent of a crime. You can’t mislead DNA.”
Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Wisconsin, Chris Ahmuty, has spoken against the proposals:
“The whole expansion of DNA extraction upon arrest could be unconstitutional, depending on the breadth of the Supreme Court’s ruling.”
However, attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, believes the power to collect the DNA will be found constitutional, despite the fact that in April, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that DNA collection from people arrested but not yet convicted violated the Fourth Amendment.