Bill Advances To Let Police Collect DNA From All Felony Arrestees

Feb 28, 2017

 

Senate lawmakers advanced legislation that allows police to collect DNA from anyone arrested for a felony. But there’s still disagreement over what happens to some of those DNA records.

Backers of the measure say DNA collection will help identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent.

Under the bill, if a person is arrested but not charged within one year, the DNA record can be expunged. The same is true if charges are dismissed or the person is acquitted.

But that expungement is not automatic – the person must petition to have the record deleted. Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) takes issue with that.

“Men and women who are innocent of the state’s accusations should be afforded all the protections the state has to offer,” Breaux says.

But Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) says there’s no expungement at all for when he gave his fingerprints to get a handgun license or gave his photograph to get a driver’s license.

“And I think this is simply an adaptation of technology to something we’ve been doing reasonably well without intrusiveness for a very long time,” Hershman says.

The Senate approved the measure 36 to 13, sending it to the House. The House previously approved a virtually identical measure of its own.