NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The Supreme Court decided it's ok for police to collect DNA at the time of an arrest.
When someone is arrested, police log their fingerprints and identifying information. In 29 states, DNA is also collected; Massachusetts is not one of them.
It was close; in a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court Justices ruled that police departments can collect the DNA of suspects. Opponents say it's unconstitutional, and violates a suspect's privacy. But supporters say it allows law enforcement to cross check information and possibly solve crimes.
"That database is available for all agencies to check," said Jose Rijos of Chicopee. "You might now know that the individual has extensive criminal history. DNA might solve that cold case."
Justice Anthony Kennedy said DNA cheek swabs would be a "legitimate police booking procedure".