News & Politics

Supreme Court Rules on Constitutionality of DNA Swabs

Read about the Maryland case that inspired the court to take up the issue.

The US Supreme Court today decided Maryland v. King, which asked the justices to determine whether the Fourth Amendment allows police to take and analyze DNA samples from suspects arrested and charged with serious crimes. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that taking a cheek swab of DNA is a reasonable police action under the Constitution. Read The Washingtonian’s May 2013 feature on the case and brutal rape in Salisbury, Maryland, that led to the Supreme Court taking up the issue.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.