Finding that DNA profiling samples are “fingerprints for the 21st century,” a sharply divided federal appeals court has ruled that the government has the right to routinely collect DNA samples from anyone who is arrested for inclusion in a national database.

“DNA profiling is simply a more precise method of ascertaining identity and is thus akin to fingerprinting, which has long been accepted as part of routine booking procedures,” U.S. Circuit Judge Julio M. Fuentes wrote in United States v. Mitchell .

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