Georgia Senate Passes Bill to Collect DNA of Arrestees
Filed under Testing on 3/16/2011 by Author: .

On March 16, 2011, the Senate in Georgia passed Senate Bill 80which requires law enforcement to take saliva swabs and collect DNA samples from suspects arrested on felony charges. The bill's sponsor, Senator Joshua McKoon, drew some opposition because it called for gathering DNA samples from people not convicted of crimes, but simply charged. If people were found innocent, the state of Georgia would still retain their DNA samples. Sen. Bill Cowsert, added an amendment that said that the state would destroy the evidence of anyone found innocent, and the bill passed 39-13.
 
If passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the governor, this bill would help solidify convictions on felony charges and will help to identify suspects in crimes. DNA sampling generally includes a simple oral swab, a non-invasive technique. The DNA collection would be performed after a judge or magistrate has determined there is probable cause that the suspect is guilty of the crime.
Sen. Josh McKoon added that, "Scientific advancements have shown us that DNA is an even better, more reliable identifier. Eventually, all law enforcement agencies will use DNA identification almost exclusively. We owe this to the people of Georgia to ensure their safety."
 
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