Case Research Paper

In 2009, Maryland police arrested Alonzo Jay King Jr for a first and second-degree assault arrested Alonzo Jay King Jr. Now Maryland has an act called the “Maryland’s DNA Collection Act”, and for that, the police went along and took a DNA swab of him. Doing so, his DNA was added into the database and it unexpectedly had matched a DNA sample that was taken as evidence in a 2003 rape case that was never resolved. Now since Kings’ DNA had matched the DNA sample of the rape victim for the 2003 rape case, a Maryland trial court convicted him of the 2003 rape case. A detective then presented the two matching DNA samples to the grand jury and there was when he was indicted by the grand jury for first-degree rape. Afterwards, the police granted a search warrant to collect a second DNA sample from King, but this time around it was the buccal swab. The buccal swab also matched the DNA sample from the one for the 2003 rape case, leading King to being convicted of rape and sentenced life in prison.
In the first court of Maryland v. King, other states were on the supporting side of Maryland, stating how DNA collection and analysis is a useful tool to help solve crimes and give more of a lead way to the law enforcement and that it will help improve public safety. Also stated, was how one of the greatest challenges any law enforcement agency deals with is solving a crime committed by an unknown offender. DNA sampling will not only help solve crime, but also help remove offenders from out of the general population and keep offenders from possible future crimes. On the flip side of this, King responds saying; “The same can be said for other subgroups; as long as they have some sort of higher incidence in criminal activity.” Permitting Maryland to enforce this Act, argued King, will allow law enforcement to invade an individual’s privacy.
In the second court, Maryland Chiefs of Police Association went on and argued how with DNA data access of the arrestees, it will help them manage them more accurately. For instance, if an officer knows that someone who was once already arrested for a crime is suspected of committing another one, that officer can have the knowledge of possibly keeping him separate from the other suspects, knowing his or her history. Maryland’s Chiefs asserts how the help of DNA evidence, gives the general public more a more safe feeling because they have the confidence in their law enforcement to retain criminals. King then responds saying that with Maryland’s DNA Act, it is giving too much power to law enforcement. They can warrant a search and seizure to whomever they want or they’ll even have the power to charge a defendant to an offense where they can authorize a DNA collection.
The third court was about King’s protection from the Fourth Amendment. Maryland argues, stating that under the Fourth Amendment, it prohibits unreasonable searches, but it doesn’t say anything about that for the practice of collecting and analyzing DNA. Under the Fourth Amendment, it is reasonable to be able to do so. Maryland argued that when the government is highly interested in warranting a search and it overpowers the individual’s privacy interest that makes it reasonable to conduct a search as well. Then, the State claims that it may be reasonable for a search to be done without any warrant or probable cause and that individualized suspicion does not need to be needed for the government to conduct a search, according to the Constitution. Now on the other hand of this, King thinks otherwise and says that Maryland’s analysis of the Fourth Amendment is backwards. Without any individualized suspicion, the state cannot conduct search, stated King. Once Maryland had conducted search on King and obtained DNA from a cheek swab that set off King’s Fourth Amendment argument where King had argued that the State had no right for the doing. It was unreasonable because they did not have any warrant or probable cause.
This court, Maryland argues how the collection and analyzing of DNA barely invades the arrestee’s privacy and also argues how the cheek swab isn’t much of a physical incursion.