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DNA testing on people who are arrested
A mugshot, a finger print, and now... a DNA sample? One lawmaker says police should be able to gather all of these things upon your arrest. But, Fox 25's Kisha Henry shows us-- not everyone's on board.
Currently, law enforcement cannot gather a DNA sample until a person is convicted. But, under Senator Clark Jolley's proposed bill-- if you're arrested for certain crimes (all felonies and certain misdemeanors-- like drug possession and domestic abuse) you would be required to have your mouth swabbed. If it's proven you were arrested for good reason, that information would be sent into a DNA database to be matched for other crimes.
"It allows us to help solve crimes. It helps us get rapists and murderers off the street," says Senator Clark Jolley, Edmond-(R). He says his bill will help clear the innocent and bring justice to the guilty. the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police agrees.
"We look at it no differently than collecting fingerprints, which is done at every arrest," says Mark Nelson, Legislative Chairman for the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police.
But, Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, says the two are very different. "DNA reveals a great deal about an individual. The information from a fingerprint can't tell me whether an individual's predispositioned to have a particular type of disease," says Kiesel.
"We're not doing this to figure out if they have children or what diseases they have," counters Sen. Jolley. He says he's pushing the bill to help law enforcement solve cold cases. But, Kiesel says, "I'm sure that law enforcement could solve all sorts of crimes with unreasonable search and seizure. If we allowed law enforcement to enter homes without warrants and search homes; if we allowed law enforcement to arrest people and interrogate them without a warrant, without probably cause-- there's no doubt they would solve more crimes."
Senator Jolley says criminals are bypassing the state's current system of requiring a DNA test after conviction, because they're plea-bargaining for lesser sentences. Sen. Jolley says his bill has been proven to work. "You can look at New Mexico, for example. Just an hour-and-a-half into this law taking affect, a person was arrested, not for murder or for rape. They were arrested for another crime and it solved a double-homicide," says Sen. Jolley.
"The benefit to public safety far outweighs what some might consider invasive," adds Nelson.
But, Kiesel says the interest of public safety must be balanced against a reasonable expectation of privacy. "You're innocent until you're proven guilty," says Kiesel. "Until a jury finds you guilty, we shouldn't just assume that you're guilty of something and start taking DNA samples," he says.
If the bill passes, a mini-trial will be held after each arrest to make sure the person was arrested for good reason. If the charges are dropped, your DNA sample would be expunged and not placed into the database. So far, the bill has passed the Senate.
Some privacy advocates are also concerned about the database of people's most personal information. Sen. Jolley notes-- the only information that is sent to a database is a series of numbers. He says you cannot look at the ocde and tell who it belongs to or anything about the person. "All that you can tell is whether or not it matches another sample that comes up," he says.
Posted: Saturday, March 30 2013, 05:35 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Names of those killed in Oklahoma tornado
May 23, 2013 03:41 GMT
Eds: Alphabetizes list
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma medical examiner's office says it has positively identified all 24 people killed in the tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, including 10 children:
-- Sydney Angle, 9
-- Hemant Bhonde, 65
-- Richard Brown, 41
-- Antonia Candelaria, 9
-- Emily Conatzer, 9
-- Kyle Davis, 8
-- Case Futrell, 4 months
-- Megan Futrell, 29
-- JaNae Hornsby, 9
-- Leslie Johnson, 46
-- Rick Jones, 54
-- Christopher Legg, 9
-- Terri Long, 49
-- Nicolas McCabe, 9
-- Jenny Neely, 38
-- Cindy Plumley, 45
-- Shannon Quick, 40
-- Tewauna Robinson, 45
-- William Sass, 63
-- Randy Smith, 39
-- Gina Stromski, 51
-- Karrina Vargyas, 4
-- Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months
-- Deanna Ward, 70
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