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Mich. Senate Considers Expansion Of DNA Testing

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Senate committee is expected to take up a bill this week that would expand DNA testing in Michigan.

The bill would require people arrested for committing or attempting to commit a felony to provide a DNA sample. It was introduced by Lawton Republican Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker last week and sent to the Judiciary Committee.

Schuitmaker’s office says the bill would make DNA collection the same as fingerprint collection. If the charges are dropped or the person is found not guilty, the sample would be destroyed.

Currently, DNA samples are taken at the time of arrest only when people are arrested for violent felonies, such as murder.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill in 2011 requiring all prisoners to submit a DNA test within three months of entering prison.

How important is DNA when it comes to convictions? A 1999 report from the Department of Justice says this:

“In little more than a decade, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) evidence has become the foremost forensic technique for identifying perpetrators, and eliminating suspects, when biological tissues such as saliva, skin, blood, hair, or semen are left at a crime scene. First introduced in 1986 and subject of numerous court challenges in the ensuing years, DNA evidence is now admitted in all United States jurisdictions.”

The report went on to say as DNA databases grow, society will “benefit even more from the technology’s incredible power to link seemingly unrelated crimes.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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