In re Lakisha M.

Decision Date25 January 2008
Docket NumberNo. 103541.,103541.
Citation227 Ill.2d 259,882 N.E.2d 570
PartiesIn re LAKISHA M. (The People of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Lakisha M., a Minor, Appellant).
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Springfield, Richard A. Devine, State's Attorney, Chicago (James E. Fitzgerald, Alan J. Spellberg, Kathleen Warnick, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

Steven A. Drizin, Alison F. Flaum, Chicago, Timothy P. O'Toole, Nina Chernoff, Washington, D.C., Kristine Laudadio Devine, Melissa Mahurin Whitehead, law students, for amici curiae Children and Family Justice Center of the Northwestern University School of Law et al.

OPINION

Justice BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion:

In this appeal, we are asked to consider whether the Illinois DNA indexing statute, section 5-4-3 of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-4-3 (West 2004)), is unconstitutional as applied to respondent, Lakisha M., a minor who was adjudicated delinquent, by the circuit court of Cook County, after being found guilty of committing a nonsexual felony offense. The appellate court upheld the constitutionality of the statute. No. 1-05-2192 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). For reasons that follow, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

On December 13, 2004, Lakisha and another female student were taken to the in-school detention room at Collins High School in Chicago because they had been fighting. While there, Lakisha hit and kicked the dean of her high school as he blocked her attempt to resume fighting with the other girl. Based on this incident, a petition for adjudication of wardship was filed against Lakisha. After a trial (705 ILCS 405/5-601 (West 2004)), a juvenile court found Lakisha guilty of committing the offense of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(3), (e) (West 2004)),1 and adjudicated her delinquent. She was then sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to submit a saliva sample to the Department of State Police for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis and indexing, as required by section 5-4-3(a)(3.5) of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-4-3(a)(3.5) (West 2004)).

Lakisha appealed, challenging both her adjudication and the constitutionality of the DNA indexing statute as it applied to her. In an unpublished summary order, the appellate court affirmed Lakisha's adjudication and upheld the constitutionality of the statute. No. 1-05-2192 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

Lakisha petitioned this court for leave to appeal, which we granted. 210 Ill.2d R. 315. We also permitted the Children and Family Justice Center of the Northwestern University School of Law, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and a coalition of juvenile justice, civil liberties and public defender organizations to file, jointly, an amicus curiae brief in support of respondent.

ANALYSIS

Lakisha has successfully completed her sentence of probation and does not challenge her adjudication in this court. The only issue she raises here is whether section 5-4-3 of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-4-3 (West 2004)) is unconstitutional as applied to her, a minor adjudicated delinquent for a nonsexual felony offense.

Section 5-4-3 is applicable to respondent pursuant to subsection (a)(3.5), which provides in pertinent part:

"(a) Any person * * * found guilty or given supervision for any offense classified as a felony under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 [705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq.] * * * shall, regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, be required to submit specimens of blood, saliva, or tissue to the Illinois Department of State Police in accordance with the provisions of this Section, provided such person is:

* * *

(3.5) convicted or found guilty of any offense classified as a felony under Illinois law or found guilty or given supervision for such an offense under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 on or after August 22, 2002."

Lakisha does not dispute that DNA analysis and typing produces a unique "print" or genetic profile for every person and, accordingly, is an accurate scientific process useful as a means of identification. Moreover, she acknowledges that the plain language of section 5-4-3(a)(3.5) explicitly and unequivocally requires her and every minor adjudicated delinquent based on the commission of a felony offense on or after August 22, 2002, to provide a DNA sample to the Illinois Department of State Police so that genetic marker grouping analysis information obtained from the sample may be included in state and national DNA databases. 730 ILCS 5/5-4-3(a), (f) (West 2006). Lakisha contends, however, that the compulsory extraction of her saliva, its analysis for DNA genetic marker groupings, and the perpetual storage and open-ended potential for repeated searches of her genetic profile, permitted by the statute, violate her right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures as guaranteed by the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution (U.S. Const., amends. IV, XIV), as well as article I, section 6, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Ill. Const.1970, art. I, § 6). She also contends that the statute, when applied to minors like herself, permits an unreasonable invasion of privacy, in violation of the privacy clause of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Ill. Const.1970, art. I, § 6).

We begin our analysis by noting that all statutes are presumed constitutional and that the party challenging a statute's validity bears the burden of demonstrating a clear constitutional violation. People v. Wilson, 214 Ill.2d 394, 398-99, 292 Ill.Dec. 887, 827 N.E.2d 416 (2005). A court must construe a statute so as to affirm its constitutionality, if reasonably possible. People v. Funches, 212 Ill.2d 334, 339-40, 288 Ill.Dec. 654, 818 N.E.2d 342 (2004), citing People v. Greco, 204 Ill.2d 400, 406, 274 Ill.Dec. 73, 790 N.E.2d 846 (2003). Our review of a statute's constitutionality is de novo. People v. Dinelli, 217 Ill.2d 387, 299 Ill.Dec. 236, 841 N.E.2d 968 (2005).

The Fourth Amendment

The fourth amendment of the United States Constitution, applicable to the states through the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment, guarantees to all citizens the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. People v. Lampitok, 207 Ill.2d 231, 240, 278 Ill.Dec. 244, 798 N.E.2d 91 (2003). The "touchstone" of fourth amendment analysis is always "the reasonableness in all the circumstances of the particular governmental invasion of a citizen's personal security" (Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 19, 88 S.Ct 1868, 1878-79, 20 L.Ed.2d 889, 904 (1968)) and reasonableness depends "on a balance between the public interest and the individual's right to personal security free from arbitrary interference by law officers" (United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 878, 95 S.Ct. 2574, 2579, 45 L.Ed.2d 607, 614-15 (1975)). Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 106, 98 S.Ct. 330, 54 L.Ed.2d 331 (1977). See also Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843, 848-49, 126 S.Ct. 2193, 2197, 165 L.Ed.2d 250, 256 (2006); Lampitok, 207 Ill.2d at 248, 278 Ill.Dec. 244, 798 N.E.2d 91 (whether a search is unreasonable within the meaning of the fourth amendment depends on the degree to which the search intrudes upon the individual's privacy balanced against the degree to which it is needed to promote a legitimate governmental interest), citing United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112, 122 S.Ct. 587, 151 L.Ed.2d 497 (2001).

Lakisha's burden in this case is considerable, not only because she must overcome the presumption of constitutionality, but also because, in People v. Garvin, 219 Ill.2d 104, 301 Ill.Dec. 423, 847 N.E.2d 82 (2006), this court considered and upheld the constitutionality of section 5-4-3 (730 ILCS 5/5-4-3 (West 2002)), as applied to adult felons.

In Garvin, the defendant was convicted of burglary and theft, sentenced to a term of 6½ years' imprisonment, and directed to provide a blood sample for DNA analysis pursuant to section 5-4-3. On appeal, the defendant argued that the DNA indexing statute was unconstitutional under the search and seizure provisions of both our federal and state constitutions, because it permitted warrantless, suspicionless searches without a showing of "special need" or other justification. Garvin, 219 Ill.2d at 117, 301 Ill.Dec. 423, 847 N.E.2d 82. The defendant also contended that the statute was unconstitutional as applied to him because he was convicted of a nonsexual felony and, as a result, the potential usefulness of his stored DNA in solving future crimes was greatly diminished. Garvin, 219 Ill.2d at 117, 301 Ill.Dec. 423, 847 N.E.2d 82.

Addressing these claims, we found that the compelled blood extraction, though a "search" within the meaning of the fourth amendment, was reasonable. This was true whether we applied the "special needs test" advocated by the defendant or the less rigorous "pure balancing test" for determining reasonableness. Garvin, 219 Ill.2d at 118, 301 Ill.Dec. 423, 847 N.E.2d 82. In reaching this determination, we held that the primary purpose of our DNA indexing statute is the creation of a criminal DNA database that can be used to "absolve innocents, identify the guilty, deter recidivism by identifying those at a high risk of reoffending, or bring closure to victims" and that this purpose serves a special need beyond that of general law enforcement, thereby satisfying the "special need" prong of the reasonableness test. Garvin, 219 Ill.2d at 121-22, 301 Ill.Dec. 423, 847 N.E.2d 82. Further, we held that the state has an interest in creating a DNA database to "[p]romot[e] an effective and accurate criminal justice system and increas[e] public safety through either deterrence or removal of criminal offenders from...

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