A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Canada high court upholds judicial orders for retrospective DNA samples

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] ruled [text] 4-3 Thursday that it is constitutional for a judge to require a convicted sex offender to turn over DNA samples to the Canadian National DNA Data Bank [official website], even if the offender was convicted before the enactment of the 2000 law establishing the bank. The Court's decision reversed a prior ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal [official website], but Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant [official profile] has already issued a statement [press release] welcoming the high courts ruling. The Supreme Court did not address whether a mandatory system of requiring sex offenders to donate DNA samples would be constitutional. Canadian Press has more.

The US Senate is still considering a bill [text] entitled the DNA Fingerprinting Act of 2005 sponsored by Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) [official website] that would expand the scope of those who would have to submit samples to the FBI Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) [official website] beyond convicted criminals to those suspected of federal crimes. A similar measure has already been passed by the House.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.