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Court OK’s use of force to get DNA sample

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Prison officials can use reasonable force to take DNA samples from convicted felons who refuse to provide them, Connecticut’s second-highest court ruled Monday. State law requires all convicted felons to provide DNA samples, but it does not specifically say that officials can use force. The Appellate Court said that ‘‘prohibiting the state from using reasonable force would permit a felon to avoid his or her obligation to provide a DNA sample and thus frustrate the Legislature’s goal of creating a DNA databank to assist in future criminal investigations.’’ The ruling came in the appeals of two inmates, Mark Banks and Roosevelt Drakes, who challenged the state’s authority to take their DNA samples by force.

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