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  • DNA Databases and the Fourth Amendment: The Time has Come to Reexamine the Special Needs Exception to the Warrant Requirement and the Primary Purpose Test

    If you were to poll law enforcement officers as to what has been the single most important advancement in the past twenty years in their profession, the response would almost certainly be the advent of computerized DNA databases. Through a process known as a “cold hit,” police are able to identify suspects by matching DNA left at a crime scene to DNA profiles contained in a known offender database. The use of searchable, computerized databases has become almost universal in assisting law enforcement solve crime and ha s become ingrained in American popular culture through its portrayal in television shows like CSI.