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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM

DNA testing

An incremental infection

Thursday’s editorial on DNA testing at the time of arrest is scary stuff [“DNA, tool of justice,” Feb. 5]. A newspaper can be many things, but in this time of sophisticated skulduggery, naivete must not be one of them.

This measure would not only endanger the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, it would make a nasty dent on the presumption of innocence.

True, it would make law enforcement easier, but so would rescinding all of the Bill of Rights. We could put everybody in cages and everyone would always obey the law.

It’s hard to see, when we get our history lessons in the condensed form of textbooks, but tyranny does not come with a thundering fanfare. It is an incremental infection. It creeps in one small abuse of human rights at a time.

We must constantly monitor the balance between security and freedom. Hysterical jerks such as this can upset the balance beyond repair. The technology exists to destroy our privacy, our autonomy, our freedom, our dignity and our right to have all of these things protected.

That is a dragon that needs to be kept on a tight leash.

— Harold Pettus, Everett

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