Diverse Views on DNA Access in Tennessee
A package of stories today in the Tennessean approaches the
recent U.S. Supreme Court decision
on access to DNA testing from a wide variety of perspectives. In an editorial, the newspaper argued that the justices had erred in their decision.
Knowing what we know about the strength of DNA testing, it is an injustice to the country not to allow DNA to help bring fairness to any person suspected of a crime. The Supreme Court got this one wrong in a disappointing way.
Reader William Haupt disagrees with the editorial, siding with the majority of justices in arguing that the DNA testing access should be left to the states to decide. Haupt writes:
The Constitution allocates specific responsibilities to the states and others to the feds.
In a recent decision, the Supreme Court did not claim an inmate had no constitutional right to DNA tests, but that a state's DNA laws supersede those of the federal courts.
Each state is entitled to make laws applicable to their own geographical and sociological needs as long as they are constitutional.
But most readers disagreed with the decision, calling it “appalling” and “baffling.” Reader Corinne H. Lane from Nashville writes:
DNA works and should be used. Our Constitution was created to give all equal rights, and this is just one more right that is being chiseled away. The Supreme Court should be anxious to preserve our rights according to the Constitution, and just because DNA was not known when the Constitution was written does not mean it cannot apply to the principle of equal protection now.
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