ECHR: "Retaining Innocent's DNA is Illegal."

BBC News wrote:
DNA database 'breach of rights'

Thousands of DNA samples from innocent people are now retained
Two British men should not have had their DNA and fingerprints retained by police, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

The men's information was held by South Yorkshire Police, although neither was convicted of any offence.

The judgement could have major implications on how DNA records are stored in the UK's national database.

The judges said keeping the information "could not be regarded as necessary in a democratic society".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was "disappointed" by the European Court of Human Rights' decision.

The database may now have to be scaled back following the unanimous judgement by 17 senior judges from across Europe.

Under present laws, the DNA profiles of everyone arrested for a recordable offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are kept on the database, regardless of whether they are charged or convicted.


The details of about 4.5m people are held and one in five of them does not have a current criminal record.

Both men were awarded £36,400 (42,000 Euros) in costs, less the money already paid in legal aid. The existing law will remain in place while we carefully consider the judgement

Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary

The court found that the police's actions were in violation of Article 8 - the right to respect for private and family life - of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The judges ruled the retention of the men's DNA "failed to strike a fair balance between the competing public and private interests," and that the UK government "had overstepped any acceptable margin of appreciation in this regard".

The court also ruled "the retention in question constituted a disproportionate interference with the applicants' right to respect for private life and could not be regarded as necessary in a democratic society".

The home secretary said: "DNA and fingerprinting is vital to the fight against crime, providing the police with more than 3,500 matches a month.

"The government mounted a robust defence before the Court and I strongly believe DNA and fingerprints play an invaluable role in fighting crime and bringing people to justice.

"The existing law will remain in place while we carefully consider the judgement."

One of the men who sought the ruling in Strasbourg, Michael Marper, 45, was arrested in 2001. FROM THE TODAY PROGRAMME

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He was charged with harassing his partner but the case was later dropped. He had no previous convictions.

The other man - a teenager identified as "S" - was arrested and charged with attempted robbery but later acquitted.

In both cases the police refused to destroy fingerprints and DNA samples taken when the men were taken in to custody.

The men went to the European Court of Human Rights after their cases were thrown out by the House of Lords.

They argued that retaining their DNA profiles is discriminatory and breaches their right to a private life.

The government claims the DNA profile from people who are not convicted may sometimes be linked to later offences, so storing the details on the database is a proportionate response to tackling crime.

Scotland already destroys DNA samples taken during criminal investigations from people who are not charged or who are later acquitted of alleged offences.

The Home Office has already set up a "contingency planning group" to look into the potential implications arising from a ruling in favour of the men.

So guys, what do you think?

But if you are accused of a crime and then acquitted, should the police have to keep your DNA forever and treat you like a criminal? Because that's basically what's happening. DNA can be tamperred with, you know, so it's not as accurate as you may think.

“Before death takes away what you are given, give away whatever there is to give.”

Mawlana Jalal ud Din Rumi

If the police have DNA samples of you already, frame jobs would be so much easier. Just add a dollop of evidence here, an evidence of evidence there...

Currently if the dna is checked afterwards, atleast there is less chance of malicious contamination blaming innocent parties.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

wednesday wrote:
How is retaining DNA samples related to treating you as a criminal? It just happens that ALL criminals have their DNA samples taken for future references and Identification.

DNA samples can be temperred with... but NOT the host it was taken from. I aint accurate due to human intervention... and that depends if you really trust the appropriate people. I see no harm in ppl keeping the DNA in the info bank.

Because criminals after they have been convicted have their DNA retained so that they can be monitored. When, Peter Sutcliffe (Yorkshire Rippe) was around (I think it was him) many willingly gave their DNA samples to help and eliminate themselves. But even after Sutcliffe was caught, the police refused to destroy the samples. Now that is basically treating you like a criminal, just by being arrested and then released or acquitted you have your DNA on the system, like you're a criminal. Many other people aren't on there. Many criminals aren't on there. Why is that on?

“Before death takes away what you are given, give away whatever there is to give.”

Mawlana Jalal ud Din Rumi