Downs v. State of Alaska

Amicus Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Brief filed: 05/17/2024


Downs v. State of Alaska

Alaska Court of Appeals; Case No. A-14068


The trial court’s decision misapplies well-settled Fourth Amendment law in a way that would erode constitutional protections concerning an individual’s sensitive, information-rich DNA. DNA is literally the most personal information that exists—it reveals innumerable sensitive facts about a person, including their familial relationships, congenital health conditions, potential struggles with depression and substance abuse, and propensity for developing everything from dyslexia to schizophrenia. In holding that petitioner had no expectation of privacy in his own DNA data, the trial court placed form over substance, and ignored the staggering implications of its holding on individual privacy.


Jahna M. Lindemuth, Cashion Gilmore & Lindemuth, Anchorage, AK; Collin P. Wedel and Christine T. Karaoglanian, Sidley Austin LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Robin E. Wechkin, Sidley Austin LLP, Issaquah, WA

Explore keywords to find information

Featured Products