Montgomery County law enforcement officials are urging Attorney General Doug Gansler to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision that would deny police from taking DNA from defendants arrested for crimes of violence and burglary.
In a 5-2 decision, the Maryland Court of Appeals overturned a home invasion rape conviction in the case of Alonzo King v. State of Maryland. The court's decision Tuesday reversed the 2009 provision officials said helped them solve open investigations, according to a joint release from the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Montgomery County Department of Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in a press release Wednesday that DNA hits allow for police to arrest repeat offenders.
The ruling will enable a convicted rapist to go free, Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin said in the release, adding that the same arguments used Tuesday were made against taking fingerprints almost a century ago.
The provision to allow police to collect DNA was enacted in 2009 and since then there have been 190 DNA samples taken upon arrest statewide and 23 DNA samples taken during arrests in Montgomery County. All led to convictions, the release stated.