Bill would require DNA samples from suspected felons

ATLANTA — Anyone arrested on a felony charge in Georgia would be required to submit a DNA sample to a database under a bill the state Senate passed on Wednesday.

The measure now heads to the state House for consideration.

Officials contend the DNA samples, which would likely be collected via oral swab, could be used to help solve future crimes and/or cold cases. A judge or magistrate would first need to determine probable cause that a suspect is guilty of the crime before the sample could be taken.

“Years ago, when fingerprints were first proven to be reliable for identification, law enforcement agencies nationwide began collection databases,” state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, said in a news release.

“Scientific advancements have shown us that DNA is an even better, more reliable identifier,” McKoon said. “Eventually, all law enforcement agencies will use DNA identification almost exclusively. We owe this to the people of Georgia to ensure their safety.”

Currently, 24 states and the federal government have similar programs in place, proponents content.

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