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Thread: Cops Take California School Kids' DNA without warrant or permission in Murder Case

  1. #1
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Cops Take California School Kids' DNA without warrant or permission in Murder Case

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blog...opstories.html

    The Sacramento Sheriff's Department, which has been spearheading the investigation into the murder of Jessica Funk-Haslam, 13, said parental consent was not required in the DNA collection and interview of minors, several of whom were taken out of class during the day last week at Albert Einstein Middle School.

    "These are interviews, not interrogations," Sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos told ABCNews.com. "They are all consensual. Once it's done, there is a mechanism in place for school administrators to notify parents."

  2. #2
    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Wow. I wonder if the LEO is this reckless with all murder cases he handles. What happens if the DNA evidence is made not-admissible in court because the LEO decided to trounce around in what seems to be at best a shady area.
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    Question

    1. The courts have ruled that a consensual interview with police is one in which a reasonable person would feel free to leave. If an 8th-grader is pulled out of class by uniformed police officers or detectives, does anyone really think he would feel free to stop the "interview" and leave?

    2. Minors cannot consent to contracts; should they be able to consent to a voluntary police encounter?

    3. Does notifying the parents after the fact in any way mitigate the consensual/non-consensual nature of the "interviews?"

    4. Will the DNA be tested and discarded, or retained in a database? Since we are dealing with a government agency, I think the answer is obvious...
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  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cop
    Once it's done, ...notify parents.
    And there you have what we call a police state, folks.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    the cops are lucky it was not my kid

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    While the swabbing of the inside of a cheek to collect a DNA sample may not be what the law considers a medical procedure, it is the collection of personal identifying information. Generally speaking, minors are not legally competent to give permission for the collection of personal identifying information, even if they wanted to. Collection and subsequent analysis of a DNA sample exposes the person to having genetic conditions exposed, which may or may not be a violation of any of a number of laws. Minors are not legally competent to authorize the release of that information, even if they wanted to.

    Attempting to get someone to surrender what may be incriminating evidence is not, IMHO, an interview but an interrogation. I'm not sure how the courts have seen the issue but most 2nd-year law students could probably present a good argument to that effect.

    It seems that the cops, while just brimming over with good intentions, have caught themselves in a wringer of huge proportions.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    SNIP "These are interviews, not interrogations," Sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos told ABCNews.com. "They are all consensual."
    Absolutely Orwellian. "We police will just change the word from interrogation to interview. Sounds much more comfy, much less likely to raise suspicions."

    Even the cop in the Prof. Duane video reported that cops no longer call them interrogations, they call them interviews.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  8. #8
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    All it takes is for a single parent to sue the crap out of the sheriff's department. It'd be a slam dunk if the reports are factual.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    All it takes is for a single parent to sue the crap out of the sheriff's department. It'd be a slam dunk if the reports are factual.
    Maybe some law students could pay for school with a case like this.

    Maybe they have just passed the BAR exam and need to be clear of student loans. This sounds like the case to clear up their student loan.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

  10. #10
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    I am not very familiar with the laws regarding police contact with minors, absent their parents. But I do get the feeling that these officers have likely violated numerous laws. Bravo, gentlemen, bravo.

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  11. #11
    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Read up on 'in loco parentis' and what our schools can ACTUALLY get away with....

    Basically, the teachers and administration ARE the parents, and they can consent FOR the kids, if they believe it's in the best interest of the child (or the school)...

    MANY court cases have come down to the school claiming they 'did XYZ for the children', and viola(!) magic get out of jail free card.
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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    I am not very familiar with the laws regarding police contact with minors, absent their parents.
    Interestingly, one of the three topics of last week's Citizens Academy presentations involved School Resource Officers. These are uniformed and armed police officers who spend up to a six-year stint serving in the local school system. There's usually one per high school, but they also make trips to middle, and occasionally, elementary schools.

    They do not change their rules of engagement when it comes to anyone in the school, whether it's students, their parents, teachers, or the school administration. While they do recognize and respect in loco parentis as practiced by the school officials, they also know it's the school taking on the rights and responsibilities normally practiced by the parent, while being neither carte blanche authority to act on the parents' behalf nor a free ticket to pry into the private lives of the student and his or her family.

    When it comes to minors legally apprehended outside of school grounds, the laws are fairly clear:

    1. Anything they say can be used by police in their investigation, but may not be used against them in a court of law unless it is obtained after the minor is in the presence of a parent, legal guardian over the age of eighteen, or duly-appointed attorney.

    2. Any actions on the part of the minors as observed by law enforcement or credible witness/surveillance, however, remain admissible.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoWeenie View Post
    Read up on 'in loco parentis' and what our schools can ACTUALLY get away with....

    Basically, the teachers and administration ARE the parents, and they can consent FOR the kids, if they believe it's in the best interest of the child (or the school)...

    MANY court cases have come down to the school claiming they 'did XYZ for the children', and viola(!) magic get out of jail free card.
    In Loco Parentis was pretty much thrown out several decades ago. It's just that some school systems have not gotten the news yet.

    Apparently folks missed something I was trying to convey above. My comments about the release of personal identifying information were not related to 4A issues, but to HIPAA. Anyone who wishes to go back and reconsider the matter under those perameters is free to do so. I hope most second-year law students knew that was where I was going, since the Cali Supreme Court has ruled that police can interrogate juveniles outside the presence of their parents.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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  14. #14
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Have the school 'resource' officer show you the law that permits the crap that the OP describes.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  15. #15
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    There really is no difference between "interview" and "interrogation". One simply happens when you are not under arrest, and the other while you are under arrest.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady
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