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NYC Arraignments & the Iris Scan

March 21, 2012

This past weekend, an OWS protester who had been arrested and subsequently taken to Manhattan Criminal Court for arraignment, was forced to wait longer than usual to be arraigned because of his refusal to submit to an iris scan. Claiming that such iris scans would prevent criminally charged defendants from pretending to be someone else, the NYPD instituted the policy of photographing the irises of defendants in Manhattan Criminal Court back in 2010. However, criminal defense lawyers argue that the policy of iris scanning is devoid of any statutory authority and violates individuals' privacy rights. The OWS protester who had initially refused the iris scan, but subsequently agreed to the scan, was quoted as saying, "I got the creepy feeling like Big Brother wants to get closer to me; they really don't have the right to that information."

Oh brother...or rather, Oh Big Brother.

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