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Court takes up question of arrestee DNA sampling

WASHINGTON — With DNA testing becoming more common in criminal investigations, the Supreme Court will decide whether police can take genetic samples from people they arrest for crimes.

The justices on Tuesday will hear arguments from Maryland officials who want approval for police to take DNA samples from people who have been arrested, but not convicted. Authorities say with the DNA of repeat criminals in the system, potential rapes and other crimes can be stopped. Twenty-eight states and the federal government already collect DNA from people arrested for various crimes.

But privacy advocates and others say it’s unconstitutional for authorities to take DNA from someone who has not been convicted of a crime without a warrant.

The justices will make a final decision in the case later this year.