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Bill Advances To Let Police Collect DNA From All Felony Arrestees

DNA

Photo: Keith Allison (Flickr)

With the bill anyone arrested in Indiana will be subject to a DNA test.

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.

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  • Chuck Rogers

    If finger prints and photographs are the same as DNA samples, as Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) trying to reason, but wrongly that they’re the same as DNA samples and that, “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,” He forgets that no one has been charged with a crime in order to get a hand gun, or a driver’s license, so there won’t ever be an acquittal for those non-crimes.
    Licenses for legal activities are voluntary, not forced, but a DNA sample taken from an accused felon, if the person is not charged or acquitted, should most definitely be expunged completely at the expense of the state.
    I’m not sure that this law would pass Constitutional muster as it stands.

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