Court Denies Religious Exemption from DNA Sampling

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has refused to stop
the government from taking DNA from a prisoner who claims the
process would violate his religious beliefs.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit made the decision Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Russell Kaemmerling, who is in a Texas prison on a wire fraud conviction.

Federal law requires felons to give a DNA sample to be kept in a
national law enforcement database.

Kaemmerling says that as an evangelical Christian, government DNA collection violates his beliefs of proper use of what he calls the building blocks of life.

But the three-judge panel said DNA collection does not call for Kaemmerling to change his religious practices and doesn't hamper his exercise of his religion.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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