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Friday, March 24, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Bills that allow police to take DNA upon arrest advance"

Updating this ILB post from Feb. 21st, Madeline Buckley reported March 22nd for the Indianapolis Star - some quotes from the long story:

If an individual is arrested, and DNA is collected — but prosecutors do not immediately file charges — how long should the government be able to hold on to the DNA sample?

Is 30 days enough time? What about six months?

Or should the government be allowed to keep a person's DNA for a year, even if he or she has not been formally charged with a crime?

Lawmakers on Wednesday debated the question during a committee hearing for a bill that would allow police to take a DNA sample upon arrest, broadening the scope of the state's DNA database, which currently only takes samples from those who have been convicted of a crime.

Versions of the bill have passed both the House and the Senate, signaling support for the measure, which proponents say will help police solve crimes and could exonerate innocent people. But the proposal also has generated vigorous debate about privacy rights and the potential for government overreach.

Now, the bills are back in committee hearings as lawmakers hash out details about how the measure would actually work, if enacted. * * *

In the version of House Bill 1577, which passed the Indiana House of Representatives, a person could remove a DNA sample from the system if no charge was filed within 30 days. But as lawmakers are working to align that bill with the similar Senate Bill 322, which passed the Senate, they altered the provision so that prosecutors now have a full year to file charges before an individual can remove a DNA sample from the system.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 24, 2017 09:54 AM
Posted to Indiana Government