Controversial 'DNA Bill' Making Its Way Through Oklahoma Legislature

Wednesday, March 9th 2016, 6:40 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

It's one of the more controversial bills state lawmakers are looking at and on Wednesday it cleared another hurdle. 

The bill would allow police to collect DNA samples from people who are arrested on felony charges, before there's even a conviction.

This bill is so controversial similar versions of it have been killed off here in the state legislature for years. But on Wednesday, it passed in the House of Representatives and is making its way to the Senate.

Under House Bill 2275, a swab of a suspect's DNA would be taken when they are arrested on a felony charge. The sample would not be immediately uploaded to the state's database. Instead it'll be stored at the place of booking until there's enough evidence to go to trial.

Opponents say once your DNA is taken it can be used for a variety of things and there's no telling what the government will do with it.

"Unlike a fingerprint which puts some ink on a piece of paper, a DNA swab is actually a piece of my body. It is literally a set of cells that are my body. They're not the government’s. And they're being taken from me. They're then being analyzed to determine all kinds of things about me," said ACLU legal director, Brady Henderson.

"DNA upon arrest is going to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent. It will get repeat offenders. There are lots of victims of crime here in Oklahoma that need answers," said Rep. Lee Denney, (R-District 33).

This is the fourth time Denny has pitched the idea. This time around she says she believes she has enough votes to get it through the Senate.