LAS VEGAS (AP) — A divided U.S. Supreme Court says police can legally take DNA without a warrant from those arrested in hopes of using it to solve old cases.

The justices issued a 5-4 ruling Monday saying taking DNA samples from people before their guilt or innocence has been proven does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

At least 28 states and the federal government now take DNA swabs after arrests. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval recently signed a law named after Reno murder victim Brianna Dennison which will begin the practice in 2014.

A Maryland court had said it was illegal for that state to take Alonzo King’s DNA without approval from a judge.

But U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy called DNA cheek swabs “a legitimate police booking procedure” like fingerprinting or photographing.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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