New OK Law Requires DNA Samples Upon Felony Arrest

Tuesday, April 26th 2016, 10:34 pm
By: News 9

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Tuesday that requires DNA samples to be taken upon booking of a felony arrest.

The bill was brought up the last four years in a row by Rep. Lee Denney, R-District 33 out of Cushing, and failed before making it to the governor’s desk.

1/22/2016 Related Story: Renewed Push To Require DNA Collection At The Time Of Arrest

The Oklahoma State  Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has been supporting the measure for years.

“This law will undoubtedly save lives, prevent crime, and prove innocence. The Bureau thanks all those legislators who worked on this bill for years to educate others on the benefits of this powerful crime-fighting technology,” OSBI’s Jessica Brown said Tuesday.

4/19/2016 Related Story: Controversial DNA Bill Passes Senate

The bill was met with criticism by the Oklahoma American Civil Liberties Union before passing.

“At the end of the day, you’re innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around. And we should not treat innocent people like criminals and take this incredibly sensitive information without any sort of cause whatsoever,” Ryan Kiesel with the ACLU said in January before the bill was heard this session.

The law requires destruction of the DNA samples unless certain conditions are met. It takes effect November 1, 2016.