Last year, the Maryland Court of Appeals declared unconstitutional the state law authorizing the collection of DNA samples from those charged with crimes of violence or felony burglary, or the attempt to commit those crimes. The law was an important public safety initiative by Mr. O'Malley and has helped state and local police make arrests in cold cases. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the state's appeal of the case, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued a stay on the effect of the state court ruling, so DNA collection has continued. Whether the Supreme Court will overrule the Court of Appeals remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the legislature needs to reauthorize the DNA collection law, which is due to sunset at the end of this year.
Jerry Jackson, Baltimore Sun