Printed in the Herald-Times, March 23, 2017
To the Editor:
The fearmongering over violent crime is unreasonable. Violent crime is lower now than it has been in decades, and has been sharply declining since the early 1990’s. Sadly, fearmongering about violent crime has not abated and has become increasingly loud along with calls to restrict our liberty.
Indiana Senate Bill 322 is an example of this authoritarian mindset, mandating that anyone arrested for a felony submit a DNA sample. Supporters tout this bill as a way to help solve crimes.
Republicans campaign on support of limited government and individual liberty. A critical component of those two principles is due process, which protects the individual and limits the power of government. A corollary to that principle is our constitutional right to be free of unreasonable searches, limiting government by requiring a warrant for searches.
So if collecting DNA is important, why not ask for a search warrant to collect a sample? This is a better alternative to collecting from everyone, and this tool is available right now with no additional legislation needed. Remember, not everyone arrested is convicted of a crime, and sometimes they are not even charged. Collecting DNA from everyone arrested for a felony is a massive overreach.