DNA Bill Found Least Resistance in Idaho Legislature
BOISE, Idaho (KTVB) — In a legislative session filled with controversy and tension, one bill made it through the legislature without one dissenting vote. Senate Bill 1240a, written by Republican Senator Jim Rice, Democrat Senator Elliot Werk, and Republican Representative Lynn Luker, aims to protect Idahoans’ privacy by limiting when law enforcement can collect DNA samples.
Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling that would allow law enforcement to get a DNA sample upon arrest. This case originated in another state, but Idaho lawmakers wanted to make sure it doesn’t happen here. If you are convicted of a felony, your DNA is collected and put into a national database.
Prosecutors also wanted to make sure the bill allowed them to get DNA of certain suspects. Senator Werk said the law is important in ensuring certain rights of Idahoans and making sure that arrest alone is not enough reason to collect someone’s DNA. Werk said that unlike a fingerprint, DNA reveals information that some people should not have to share.