More on Maryland v. King

by Walter Olson on June 9, 2013

Caleb Brown of Cato interviews me:

Official DNA database use and obligatory testing is now sure to expand; where might it be headed? “If states are using DNA to verify paternity on births to underage women, why not use it to verify paternity on all births?” [Glenn Reynolds] “The 2018 Ezra Klein column on how it’s insane we’re not testing all this DNA for public health purposes writes itself.” [@andrewmgrossman] Michelle Meyer also has some ideas. Earlier here.

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{ 1 comment }

1 William Nuesslein 06.10.13 at 8:03 am

Great interview.

If we consider Ken Burns brilliant documentary on the Central park jogger case we see DNA establishing that the boys convicted of the rape were innocent while pointing to the actual assailant. I can rattle off other cases where DNA provided justice. After the truth in the Central park jogger was known, lawyers could see all kinds of holes in the DA’s case. The conviction of the boys came from a kabuki dance.

Why the fourth amendment? because many of the founding fathers were actually criminals. But there is a valid argument for the amendment and that is protection against out of control prosecutors looking for dirt against somebody they dislike. The Penn State matter shows that mob rule still holds in America as the charge that drove people int a frenzy, the anal rape of victim #2 was just made up. And Associate Justice Sotomayor wrote an opinion brilliantly showing mob rule at work in the Skilling case. These examples stretch the fourth amendment a lot, but they are important as showing the need to require rationality from prosecutors. Appellate courts don’t work well enough in my opinion.

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