ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has struck down as unconstitutional part of a state law that lets police collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for a violent crime or trying to commit one.

The Court of Appeals Tuesday, on a 5-2 vote, overturned the conviction for rape and life sentence of Alonzo Jay King Jr. The court ruled that King’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches was violated when he was arrested in 2009, when Wicomico County police collected a sample of his DNA.

The law went into effect in 2008. Gov. Martin O’Malley pushed for the law, but critics said it risked violating civil rights by requiring samples from people who are technically innocent.

In a statement, O’Malley expressed disappointment at the ruling and said his administration was reviewing its options.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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