Your Base Pairs, Please


The New York Times' cover story this morning looks at the small town of Truro, Massachusetts, where police are seeking to solve a three-year-old murder by asking for voluntary DNA samples from every man in town. (Presumed Innocent notwithstanding, they're figuring semen found on the victim's body points to a male perpetrator.)

Fine to the extent that it's genuinely voluntary, one supposes, except that the story quotes one officer as saying that police are "trying to find that person who has something to hide," and suggests that those who refuse to provide those "voluntary" samples will find themselves under close scrutiny. My intuition is that this would probably pass muster in court, but it certainly feels like it's brushing up against the boundaries of the Fifth Amendment.