Those Arrested Will Now Be Forced To Give a DNA Sample

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Beginning Wednesday, law enforcement will have a new tool they say to solve more crimes.

"It used to be only convicted felons would submit a DNA sample, but now those arrested for violent felonies will have to as well.

"If a trooper or local agency pulls over a vehicle on a routine traffic stop and they're able to arrest that individual on a felony listed in the legislation; we're able to collect a sample right then and there," Inspector Greg Michaud of the Michigan State Police said.

Cutting the time forensic scientists can get the sample and use it to search against the 9,000 unidentified samples in the state.

"It means we'll be able to solve a crime a lot sooner," Michaud said.

The Michigan State Police Forensic Lab takes in 25,000 new DNA samples from convicted felons each year. They say they're not sure how many more samples they'll get because of the new law, but say they will do more work with the same amount of people.

"The change in the legislation comes unfunded," Michaud said.

Which will create a backlog in state labs said Carol Koenig of the Lansing Branch of the ACLU, and that's just one problem with the law.

"The ACLU believes this is a big infringement on civil liberties," Koenig said. It's going to create fishing expeditions where the use of it won't be tied to any specific crime."

Not true said Michaud. He said this is not about persecuting the innocent; it's about identifying the guilty and putting them behind bars.

"Biometric information is biometric information," He said. "We retain finger prints, DNA is just the next step."

Even if the person is exonerated, their DNA sample will stay in the database. The ACLU is hoping to get that part of the law changed.


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