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DNA sample testing system expanded in new N.C. law

Posted July 15, 2010

— North Carolina's criminal DNA testing system will be expanded with Gov. Bev Perdue signing a bill Thursday that supporters say will help prevent crime and help solve cold cases.

The measure directs police, starting Feb. 1, to take DNA samples of suspects facing certain felony charges, such as murder, rape and other serious crimes.

The samples will be entered into the state's DNA database and ran against DNA evidence in unsolved crimes.

“These samples are the 21st century version of fingerprints,” Perdue said at a bill-signing ceremony in Greenville. “We need to give our law enforcement officers the most advanced tools that we can when they head out on the streets.”

DNA sample testing system expanded in new N.C. law DNA sample testing system expanded

The state already takes a sample when someone is convicted of a felony, but Attorney General Roy Cooper says the new law will expand the DNA database and help solve crimes more quickly – an estimated 100 in the first year.

"It's a win for North Carolina citizens," Cooper said.

Some lawmakers, however, say requiring the sample upon arrest amounts to unreasonable search and seizure.

“I feel like it's unfair. I think it may be a type of targeting that we don't intend for it to be,” said Rep. Rosa Gill, D-Wake, who voted against the bill.

Concerns from lawmakers and advocacy groups prompted changes to the original bill, which required samples from anyone arrested on a felony charge.

The law only calls for samples from those committing certain felonies – specifically violent and sex-related crimes – including murder, manslaughter, rape, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, breaking and entering, armed robbery, cyberstalking and stalking.

The bill also allows for removing a person's DNA from the state database if he or she is acquitted or the charge is dropped.

Federal funds will be used to pay for a portion of the DNA testing.

Eight additional forensic criminal analysts are expected to be hired to analyze and review samples, distribute swab collection kits to law enforcement and help with training.


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  • smalldogsrule Jul 16, 2010

    How many of you would turn in a member of your own family? I would, but that is primarily because of what I do for a living.

    How many of you would like to be questioned and possibly convicted for something done by a brother or sister?

    Well, DNA can make that mistake. If not tested or read properly, familial matches can sometimes incriminate the wrong person.

    Fingerprints never lie, and, can't tell anything else about you like DNA can. And figerprint information is of little interest to healthcare agencies and other such organizations.


  • soyousay Jul 16, 2010

    Maybe now they will be able to solve old crime cases as well as new ones quickly.

    In case you missed it...no they won't.
    and do you really really think that every crime involves snippets of tissue and can be neatly tidied up at the end of the episode

  • wildcat Jul 16, 2010

    Maybe now they will be able to solve old crime cases as well as new ones quickly.

  • mpheels Jul 16, 2010

    Investigators shouldn't have to wait until conviction to get DNA, but they also shouldn't be able to get DNA from everyone charged with a felony. If DNA is relevant, then they should get a warrant to "search" for DNA, just like they would need to get a warrant to search a home. If there is no DNA evidence in the case at hand, then no DNA sample should be collected. If we start collecting DNA samples from everyone charged with a felony on the off chance it will match another unrelated case, I'm afraid it won't be long before we start collecting DNA from other groups "just in case."

  • soyousay Jul 16, 2010

    Here.....just to let you know Wiki is well, Wiki

  • soyousay Jul 16, 2010

    here..It creates the queue to let us catch more criminals. We'll eventually catch up on processing

    remember this is not TV...samples degrade, someone has to handle, and store them and that is just for starters. You don't slip results with a few strokes of of some keys or a scanner into a marvelously functioning computer and out pops the match

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 16, 2010

    DNA is much more reliable than fingerprints.


    “In 1995, the Collaborative Testing Service (CTS) administered a proficiency test that, for the first time, was ‘designed, assembled, and reviewed’ by the International Association for Identification (IAI).The results were disappointing. Four suspect cards with prints of all ten fingers were provided together with seven latents. Of 156 people taking the test, only 68 (44%) correctly classified all seven latents.”

    David Grieve, the editor of the Journal of Forensic Identification (a premier publication of the fingerprint community) said this:

    “Errors of this magnitude within a discipline singularly admired and respected for its touted absolute certainty as an identification process have produced chilling and mind- numbing realities...By any measure, this represents a profile of practice that is unacceptable and thus demands positive action by the entire community.”

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jul 16, 2010

    Not Now asked, "what good will collecting more DNA do? [before we're ready to process it all]"

    It creates the queue to let us catch more criminals. We'll eventually catch up on processing.

  • Gork Jul 15, 2010

    The white, anglo-saxon, tea partiers will all feel differently over the next few years when they realize THEY are the minority and don't run everything. Then they'll wish they had not supported all these constitutionally abusive measures...

  • soyousay Jul 15, 2010

    short..try joining us...

    no thanks, but there are so many that will