Legislation to allow police to take DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony is gathering more support as prosecutors and GOP senators line up to back it.
Current law requires police to get a warrant to collect an arrestee’s DNA. A proposed bill would simply allow police to collect a DNA sample from anyone arrested for a felony, just like collecting fingerprints.
Such legislation has failed for years, in both chambers. But Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) says there’s building momentum to approve it.
“DNA profiling is an accurate, widely-used tool that will help law enforcement solve crime,” Houchin says.
Houchin adds a real-life example of the usefulness of such a law will help tremendously.
And that’s what she has in a murder case from Zionsville. Boone County prosecutor Todd Meyer says law enforcement was able to identify the murderer because of DNA collected from the suspect in Ohio, which already has a law like the one Indiana seeks to pass.
“We were able to solve this crime based on that DNA sampling that was taken,” Meyer says. “It’s the 21st century. We started with mugshots, we went to fingerprints and now it’s DNA.”
Houchin’s bill would allow arrestees to expunge their DNA record if they’re acquitted of the crime.