Dakota County Resumes DNA Collection, Effort Is Challenged
HASTINGS (AP) - A southeastern Minnesota sheriff's department has resumed collecting DNA samples from people who have been charged with certain violent crimes but not yet convicted, a practice which has been ruled unconstitutional by an appeals court.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom says a 2013 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the DNA collection trumps the state appeals decision. The Minnesota Board of Public Defenders is challenging Dakota County and asking judges to block the DNA collection in individual cases by claiming the defendants are being subjected to unreasonable search and seizure.
Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie says the challenge has prevented DNA collection from at least eight of 24 people booked since August who met the criteria to submit a sample. Backstrom has asked the appeals court to stop the judges from interceding.