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Prop. 69 Is a Threat to Privacy of Citizens

September 18, 2004

The Sept. 13 article about the upcoming propositions on the November state ballot, "Competing Measures Add to Complexity of State Ballot," was helpful, but your summary of Proposition 69 was incomplete and misleading.

California law already requires the collection of DNA samples from violent felony offenders convicted of murder, rape, child molestation and other serious crimes. Proposition 69 expands that violent felony database to include innocent people, by requiring seizure of DNA samples from people arrested for any felony, even if they are never charged or convicted.

Once in this database, a person must hire an attorney to request a court order to be removed, and denial of that request by the court cannot be appealed. More than 50,000 felony arrests each year in California do not result in criminal charges. This is why the California Democratic Party, California Labor Federation, Children's Defense Fund, NAACP, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, the ACLU and other groups are all urging Californians to vote no on Proposition 69.

Ramona Ripston

Executive Director

ACLU of Southern California

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