Vigilance Against a Police State

This blog is mostly devoted to examining the Leviathan of Montgomery County government, but also keeps an eye on Leviathan at the state level, too. Stephanie at Jousting for Justice takes Governor O’Malley to task for seeking a frightening expansion of state power.

The state keeps a database of DNA samples since 1994, when a law required all convicted sexual offenders to submit samples. In 1999, the program was expanded to all convicted violent crime offenders. In October 2002, it was expanded again, to all convicted felons. The state police have used this information to help in securing convictions.

In this year’s General Assembly, Senate Bill 169 would have expanded the requirement for a DNA sample to anyone arrested for certain crimes. Not convicted – arrested! The Department of Legislative Services estimates that this would increase the DNA bank by about 300,000 people per year.

That didn’t go through, but apparently the governor is now pressing for passage of the bill.

Apparently, this is only a problem for adults. According to the Post, the law allows police to take DNA samples from juveniles – just suspects! – only needing consent from the child. How can a child give consent to something like that? More to the point, how can a child, under questioning from the police, really refuse consent?

I can’t wrap this up with anything more pithy or eloquent than what Stephanie offered:

Allowing the government to collect genetic material from its citizens in mass quantity feeds into a voracious government appetite to catalog, organize, and monitor its people. Governments always want to do this–they even have good reasons for it–but free people never let them. At least not if the people are to remain free for very long.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Civil Liberties, Maryland, Police State

One Comment on “Vigilance Against a Police State”


  1. Great stuff!

    I look forward to reading some more about the Montgomery government.

    Keep updating!


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