Canada wants to fingerprint first

May 17, 2009 at 12:21 AM

OTTAWA, May 17 (UPI) -- The Canadian government wants to give police the power to fingerprint and photograph suspects who have been arrested and not formally charged.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced legislation Friday, The Toronto Globe and Mail reported. He said that Canada needs to bring its justice system up to date.

"Crime is constantly evolving in Canada so it is crucial that our criminal justice system evolves with it," Nicholson said in a statement.

The Conservative government described the plan as something that would help suspects as well as police by speeding up processing so that they might end up spending less time in police custody.

But one prominent defense lawyer in Toronto opposes the plan.

"Providing fingerprints is self-incrimination and the Constitution protects us from this. The line that is drawn is when you are charged. And to allow police to compel you to incriminate yourself before that moment is open to abuse," Clayton Ruby said.

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