Nevada Senate Oks DNA testing upon felony arrest

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Updated: 4/22/2013 6:25 pm

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Police could obtain DNA samples of people arrested on felony charges under a bill unanimously approved by the Nevada Senate.

SB243 now goes to the Assembly and comes as the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the constitutionality of such laws. A ruling is expected later this year.

The Nevada bill approved Monday is known as Brianna's Law in honor of Brianna Denison. The 19-year-old was kidnapped and later found murdered in 2008.

James Biela was arrested nine months later and eventually convicted and sentenced to death for killing Denison. He also was convicted of raping two other women in late 2007.

Supporters of the bill claim it may have saved Denison's life if it had been enacted earlier because Biela had a previous felony arrest.

A similar bill died in 2011.


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ksdavishouse - 4/22/2013 6:57 PM
0 Votes
I agree with "bassschredder" but let's take this a step further. What is done with the collected DNA if the individual is released without charges, found not guilty in court or if the charges are reduced to a non-felony offense? I know that violent offenders in the Federal Prison System are required to have their DNA takern. But, these are convicted/admitted felons and the provision for DNA collection is that they are violent offenders. White collar and non-violent felons do not have their DNA collected. Also, with our State budget hitting major shortfalls who is going to pay for the collection, classification and storage of the DNA? The Fed is also broke so I don't think they'll be handing out much in the way of support. For decades Nevada has been known for a State that supports the rights of the individual and also as a State Government that doesn't try to control every facet of an individuals life through legislation. I think that I would support DNA collection for an individual that was arrested for a violent felony (murder, rape, armed & strong arm robbery, home invasion burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, etc.) BUT under the proposed legislation shoplifters (felony) speeders over a certain speed (reckless driver) DUI without injury/death (felony level) and others would be REQUIRED to provide a DNA sample. This bill, besides being very expensive, would also overwhelm DNA testing labs which could lead to a bunch of mistakes. If that were to happen (mistakes)the entire DNA testing program could be discredited, leading to criminals winning their cases where DNA evidence was the strongest and/or only evidence used to achieve a conviction. I think when all is considered that this bill needs to be reworked to limit DNA collection to individuals who are arrested for violent felonies. It would be cheaper, more reliable (less tests, less mistakes) and somewhat fairer to the general public.

bassschredder - 4/22/2013 4:16 PM
0 Votes
so it isnt innocent until proven guilty??? So lets give up our rights?

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