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January 4, 2011

Ninth Circuit upholds DNA extraction from California prisoners

Today in Hamilton v. Brown, No. 09-1523 (9th Cir. Jan. 4, 20110 (available here), a Ninth Circuit panel rejects various constitutional challenges to California's process for extracting DNA from its state prisoners. Here is how the opinion gets started:

We must decide whether California state prison inmates constitutionally may be required to provide blood samples for DNA identification under California’s DNA and Forensic Identification Database and Data Bank Act of 1998, as amended, Cal. Pen. Code § 295 et seq. (the “Act” or the “California DNA Act”).  Pro se plaintiff George Hamilton, a California state prison inmate, alleges that prison officials forcibly extracted a blood sample for DNA identification without his consent.  He contends that this violated his rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and under California state law.  The district court dismissed Hamilton’s second amended complaint with prejudice.  This appeal followed. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.

January 4, 2011 at 02:47 PM | Permalink


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