The Politically Incorrect Show - 15/11/1999
Music - Die Fledermaus
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday November 15, proudly sponsored by Tuariki Tobacco Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
Music up, music down!
Have I gone rotten? Have I betrayed the cause of individual liberty? Many of you thought so last Friday when I shocked you rigid by coming out in support of proposed new police powers to collect DNA samples from burglary suspects. Well, before the tumult & the shouting starts again, let me deal with the points you raised. They were rather neatly summarised in an e-mail I received after the programme:
"I was surprised at your views on proposed collection of DNA from suspects, and this is why: Article IV of the proposed Bill of Rights [in the New Freeland Constitution] gives a right to be secure in your person, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and the right to be free from arbitrary detention. Article IV implies a property right in one's body, and therefore a property right in one's DNA. Why should an individual be compelled to hand over one's property to the state? There can be no justification. It is not a reasonable search or seizure, even if it is lawful. Being forcibly detained for the purpose of giving DNA is arbitrary, even if it is lawful. I have heard you voice your opposition to being arbitrarily detained at compulsory traffic checkpoints. What is the difference if you are arbitrarily detained for the purposes of giving DNA?"
There is no difference if indeed you are being detained ARBITRARILY, which is to say, for no reason, as in the case of traffic checkpoints. But "arbitrarily" does not apply in the current discussion. A suspect, remember, is someone of whom there is REASON to believe that he has initiated force in one manner or another against someone else. Due process should certainly require that the belief be DEMONSTRATED to be reasonable before a forced DNA test is permitted (in other words, a warrant should be required, as Article IV requires in other instances); what can be said then is that the forces of the law have reason to believe they are using RETALIATORY force - a legitimate state function - against someone who initiated it, & are doing so as part of their effort to clinch their case. If it turns out they're wrong, of course, then they should destroy the sample & look elsewhere.
How do I square this with "innocent till proven guilty?" my correspondent went on to ask. "Innocent till proven guilty" cannot be taken to mean "exempt from the procedures which could prove guilt." If it meant that, a suspect couldn't even be detained for questioning, let alone taken to trial. "Innocent till proven guilty" means that the onus of proof is on the prosecutors, not that the prosecutors be prohibited from gathering evidence.
The matching of DNA samples is now a formidable weapon in the forensic armoury of those charged with bringing criminals to justice. Subject to rigid due process, they should be able to wield it. Actually, they already can, in the cases of those suspected of murder, rape & aggravated assault; all that is being proposed is that this be extended to burglary suspects as well. It's noteworthy that the outcry against this proposal is from the leftie bleeding heart "liberals" who have nothing to say when the government GENUINELY violates our rights; in fact, as statist socialists, they actively support such violations.
That's my position as of now; talk me out of it!
Politically Incorrect Show, upholding individual liberty within the rule of objective law - 309 3099.
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