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Washington State Considers Collecting DNA At Arrests

Washington State Patrol
(Newstalk 870 file image-courtesy state patrol website)

The Washington State Legislature is considering bills that would require DNA collection from suspects at the time of their arrest, prompting a hotbed of controversy, including the ACLU.

The most recent argument being used by proponents of the bill is that of Anthony Diaz.  In 2005, he was released on bail for a felony hit and run charge in Pierce County.  He then went on to commit 19 crimes, including several rapes.  According to authorities, if they had his DNA on file, it would have linked him to these crimes, and made getting him off the street much faster–it would have prevented several of the rapes. 

  The legislature is considering several bills that would require DNA collection for felony arrests and those dealing with domestic violence protection orders.   Opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say it would violate the 4th Amendment, which protects people from unnessesary search and seizures.  However, law enforcement officials, and some courts have argued,  suspicion and arrests for a crime foreit some of that person’s rights.  Several state have already approved such measures, others have rejected them. What are YOUR thoughts?

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