The inevitable result from the practice described in the articles (here and here) by Tracy Wood will be the trivialization of the collection of DNA. The district attorney (Tony Rackauckas) is selling dismissals for $75 and a spit in the bucket — that in itself is ludicrous.

Add to that another potential for abuse — filing charges that would not otherwise be given a second glance, in order to obtain the sample and the shekels. The picture begins to emerge of a practice that can only result in embarrassment to the county and a black eye for the administration of justice.

The question of how and whether DNA should be obtained is not just one for the scientists, although their voices should be independent and objective. That’s just where it starts.

Where it ends up, hopefully, is in a vigorous political dialogue resulting in enlightened legislation in Sacramento, not in the self-preserving thought processes of 58 district attorneys calculating how best to use it to get themselves re-elected.

One of the vices of the practice is the subjugation of judges, such as the one whose only concern is “whatever the district attorney wants.” And so the interests of justice get mangled in another Rackauckas ruckus.

— Anthony Pierno, Rancho Mirage

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