22 November 2008

Back to the lab again: Vermont visits Unconstitutional DNA reporting policies similar to those the NH AG Kelly Ayotte espoused in New Hampshire.

Remember how Kelly screwed up the DNA juvenile reporting in NH and committed Constitutional violations?

Looks like the Caledonian Record is monitoring a very similar issue in Vermont, go ahead and Take a look.

Editorial Comment: Friday, 11/21/08
Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Here's the nugget:

"The ACLU's national science adviser, Tania Simoncelli, said DNA databases were begun in the 1990s and first contained only DNA samples from violent convicts. Today, however, DNA material from six million individuals is on file in national databases and many of those individuals have never been convicted of anything.

.....One of the Bush presidency's shameful legacies will be its disregard for the Constitution and its contempt for an individual's right to a presumption of innocence.

Our rights are a scarce commodity and diminish every year. Vermonters must not allow our government to further erode our sacred freedoms."

Read the entire editorial in the comments.

6 comments:

Christopher King said...

We find ourselves sharing in the concern the Vermont American Civil Liberties Union has with new sex crime legislation.

On behalf of the Vermont ACLU, Allen Gilbert questions a proposal by the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been working on legislation to rewrite criminal law dealing with sex crimes and sex offenders.

The proposal would change the law to require the collection of DNA samples from people arraigned on felony crimes, instead of just those convicted of felonies. The senate proposal is in opposition to the fundamental guarantee in our system of justice that a citizen is innocent until proven guilty.

A very thin test is all that is required to arraign a defendant. At arraignment, the judge need only find the evidence presented would lead a reasonable person to agree it was more likely than not that the defendant committed the crime. An arraignment is no proof of guilt and is light years away from a conviction.

Much can happen once a defendant has been arraigned. The charges against the defendant may be dismissed early in the investigation, the charge may be reduced to a misdemeanor or the defendant may go to trial and be found innocent of the charge by a jury. All that is left after acquittal is the DNA sample. It is on a state database shared, no doubt, with other states in a national database.

Gilbert questions what will happen to the DNA sample in instances where the suspect is cleared or pleads guilty to a misdemeanor. A healthy amount of skepticism is appropriate and we find it naive to believe state government will follow every single case and, without exception, faithfully destroy every sample collected if a conviction on the original charge does not occur.

The ACLU's national science adviser, Tania Simoncelli, said DNA databases were begun in the 1990s and first contained only DNA samples from violent convicts. Today, however, DNA material from six million individuals is on file in national databases and many of those individuals have never been convicted of anything.

While our nation sleeps the sleep of apathy, indifference and blissful ignorance, citizens are having their rights stripped from them at an accelerating speed. Vermonters already accept the state requirement that, following an initial arraignment in court and a not guilty plea, defendants are required to go to the police station and provide fingerprints.

Parents voluntarily line up Saturday mornings to provide police with the fingerprints of their children. While, as the police claim, the fingerprints may help identify a missing child, those same fingerprints will be stored in a huge database maintained by Big Brother, on file for life.

One of the Bush presidency's shameful legacies will be its disregard for the Constitution and its contempt for an individual's right to a presumption of innocence.

Our rights are a scarce commodity and diminish every year. Vermonters must not allow our government to further erode our sacred freedoms.

Anonymous said...

editorial- an article stating opinions or giving perspectivesIt's an opinion not FACT.

Christopher King said...

6:43

Right, just as the Nashua Telegraph editorial stated that I was correct in pursuing the First Amendment Rights relative to school board meetings, that newspaper and City Attorney Stephen Bennett's legal opinions were simply opinions, by golly you are correct.

What is also correct is that it is a FACT that NH AG Kelly Ayotte's position on DNA reporting was reversed.

It is also a FACT that a Judge ruled against the policy some time ago.

Got any other questions, jackass?

Anonymous said...

Judges have been known to be wrong that's what you claim in YOUR suspension case. How do you know this judge isn't wrong.....oh wait I know because he agrees with your viewpoint.

Christopher King said...

5:20

Here are some other good indicia:

1. No other judge ruled in Kelly's favor.

2. The policy was rescinded.

3. As to Judges being wrong, all I can say is that a tenured law professor wrote that the suspension was in part due to raacism, ignorance and reactionary politics. Said professor having been appointed by the Court.

I'm sorry, is there something else you need, jackass?

Anonymous said...

It is a false patriotism that supports the people and policies which violate the Constitutional rights our country was founded upon.