STATE v. ROOSEVELT DRAKES, SC 19247

Judicial District of Hartford

 

       Criminal; Whether Requiring Defendant to Submit DNA Sample Pursuant to General Statutes § 54-102g Violated Defendant’s Constitutional Rights; Whether State Properly Allowed to Use Reasonable Force to Obtain DNA Sample.  The defendant is serving a sentence on a 2005 murder conviction.  In 2009, he was asked to provide a DNA sample pursuant to General Statutes § 54-102g, which requires all incarcerated felons to provide DNA samples for the state DNA bank.  The defendant refused to comply, and the state filed a motion seeking permission to use reasonable force to obtain the sample.  The trial court granted the motion, and the defendant was subsequently convicted of refusing to submit to the taking of a DNA sample in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2009) § 54-102g (g).  The defendant appealed, challenging both the granting of the state’s motion to use reasonable force and the new conviction.  In affirming the judgments, the Appellate Court (143 Conn. App. 510) relied largely on its decision in a companion case, State v. Banks (143 Conn. App. 485).  In Banks, the Appellate Court upheld judgments permitting the state to use reasonable force to obtain a sample and convicting the defendant of refusing to submit to the taking of a sample on finding that (1) the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to rule on the motion to use force; (2) a conviction of failing to provide a DNA sample does not affect a felon’s underlying sentence; (3) § 54-102g is regulatory, and not punitive or penal in nature; and (4) while § 54-102g was not amended until 2011 to expressly permit the use of reasonable force to obtain a sample, the permissibility of use of reasonable force was inherent in the statute prior to 2011 to further the legislature’s goal of establishing a DNA data bank to assist in future criminal investigations.  The Appellate Court also rejected the defendant’s claim that his conviction of failure to submit a DNA sample violated his due process rights and the prohibition against double jeopardy.  The court rejected the defendant’s claim that, by having to submit a DNA sample on top of serving his sentence for murder, he was being punished twice for the same offense in violation of double jeopardy principles, concluding that the defendant’s refusal to submit a sample was new, postconviction conduct that constituted a separate offense for double jeopardy purposes.  The Supreme Court will now decide whether the Appellate Court properly held that (1) the defendant’s prosecution for refusal to submit a DNA sample did not violate his due process and double jeopardy rights, and (2) the trial court properly granted the state’s motion to use reasonable force to obtain a DNA sample even prior to passage of the 2011 amendment to § 54-102g expressly authorizing such use of force.