Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Senate Bill Would Allow DNA Samples From Suspects

Senate Bill 150 Set For Vote

DNA sample from suspects charged with serious crimes

By: Joseph L. Giacalone

Senator Dominic Pileggi has sponsored Bill 150 which would require a DNA swab from suspects charged with serious crimes. As usual, the U.S. Government is far behind the times in it's thinking. Twenty six states, including most recently New York, has already past a law which requires a DNA sample to be taken upon arrest.

Many States started requiring DNA after the horrific case of Katie Sepich from New Mexico. Katie was raped and brutally murdered in 2003. Police recovered DNA from the scene that matched an individual in the CODIS Forensic Database - AKA the Unknown database, or DNA profiles from crime scenes. Gabriel Avila  had been arrested numerous times for lesser crimes, but no DNA samples where taken. If DNA was taken from Avila for any of those other arrests, it would have been matched in the Forensic Database, therefore stopping him in his crime spree. At the time, a DNA sample could only been taken after a felony conviction. This case was the seminal issue for DNA collection that has become known as Katie's Law.

This Senate Bill is already being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union as Unconstitutional, but with so many states already practicing it and it also has an endorsement from President Obama. So, I believe the Democratically controlled Senate will pass the bill requiring all 50 states to collect DNA upon arrest for violent crimes.

I'd like to read your comments, both pro and con to this Bill.

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