blogging like it's still cool.
What is the definition of "suspect"? What is the definition of "arrest"? And what is the definition of "serious crime"?Imagine I am walking down the street minding my own business and Mr. Baltimore Police Officer decides that I look like a terrorist, puts me in his patrol car, drives me to the Intake Facility, where I get processed, fingerprinted, DNA sampled and then get to cool my heels in the cell, until somebody tells me that I will not be charged with a crime because I didn't commit a crime, does the judicial system get to keep my fingerprints and my DNA?
Oh god Cham, spare us your hysterical horseshit. "Arrest" is perfectly well defined already and nobody is being hauled on BS charges into Central Booking just so they can get DNA swabs.
Arrest is NOT well defined. The police can haul anyone down to Central Booking without cause. When the cops take you in they don't have to tell you why. It's a very murky process.One might be presented to Central Booking and processed while the officer submits his data into the computer. Cops have to input their data sometime during their shift. One might be processed up to the point where a cop might feel he doesn't have cause to arrest, in which case that person will be released with no charges.Cops are often wrong, they aren't lawyers or judges. One might have to wait to the point where they are presented to the court commissioner, and the court commissioner decides that no law has been broken. The concept of "arrest" is not cut and dried.
The concept of arrest is defined in various statutes and in the common law in some districts. It is a very precise definition, but its implementation lately has been irregular, to say the least. In the situation you're referring to, being detained for looking like a suspect and then released later, an arrest *did* initially occur, but then was nullified when probable cause couldn't be established. The question here with regard to the DNA swabs is when during the booking process the swab is taken. Does it occur immediately after the initial arrest? Does it occur after the arrested has a chance to speak with the commissioner? In terms of liberty interests, the later in the booking process the swab occurs, the better. I just disagree with you when you say that the concept of arrest isn't well-defined.
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