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DNA Testing Proposed For All Felony Arrests In New Mexico 155

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The AP reports that a proposal to expand DNA testing to anyone arrested for a felony in New Mexico has passed the state House, expanding a 2006 state law requiring DNA samples of those arrested of certain violent felonies, such as murder, kidnapping and sex offenses. 'We must give law enforcement the best possible tools to prevent crime and convict criminals, and requiring DNA samples from those arrested for felonies is simply the modern-day equivalent of fingerprinting,' says Governor Susana Martinez. Under the measure, already enacted in a dozen states, suspects 18 and older will have to provide DNA samples — from a cheek swab, for example — when they're booked at jails for any felony, as supporters says the expanded testing can help prevent crimes. But opponents contend the testing violates a person's right to privacy and could cause police to make arrests on a pretext to obtain a DNA sample."
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DNA Testing Proposed For All Felony Arrests In New Mexico

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  • by g0bshiTe ( 596213 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:11PM (#35445122)
    But I'd be all in for required DNA for felony convictions. Sounds like with them trying to get this under the guise of "it's like a fingerprint" they are fishing for other crimes that can be attached to the arrestee. I'd be interested to see some data regarding the number of felony arrests vs the number of felony convictions in that state.
  • by EuclideanSilence ( 1968630 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:20PM (#35445240)
    From TFA:

    The legislation will expand what's called "Katie's Law" in memory of Kathryn Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was raped and murdered in 2003. Sepich's killer was identified more than three years later with DNA evidence after he was CONVICTED of another crime.

    So why swab someone who has only been arrested?

    "If we can start by matching these CRIMINALS up to their previous crimes..." --Rep. Al Park

    Wow. So this is what due process has come to. Arrest = criminal. I'd like to take a jab at New Mexico but DNA testing at arrest is a nationwide effort.

  • Needs safeguards. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:28PM (#35445326)
    What guarantee do we have that the samples will be destroyed and the database records will be deleted if the suspect is found not guilty or the charges are dropped?
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:41PM (#35445474) Journal

    Wow. So this is what due process has come to. Arrest = criminal.

    "But the thing is, you don't have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That's contradictory. If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect." -- US Attorney General Edwin Meese, in 1985.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein