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Taking DNA swabs from arrestees will be reviewed

California’s practice of taking DNA from people who have been arrested but not yet convicted of a felony is going to get a second look by a federal appeals court.

A majority of judges on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted Wednesday to reconsider a split decision by a three-judge panel that upheld the program in February.

The court’s decision to ask a larger panel of judges to consider the case is a setback for state prosecutors, who have defended the DNA collection as a vital crime tool.

Once a person is swabbed, his or her DNA profile is placed in a criminal database, where it can be compared with DNA profiles compiled from evidence at crime scenes. Among those challenging the program were three protesters who were arrested but never convicted of a crime.

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-- Maura Dolan

 
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