Renewed Push To Require DNA Collection At The Time Of Arrest

Friday, January 22nd 2016, 7:16 pm
By: News 9

The topic of DNA has been debated for years here at the state capitol. The 2016 bill's current author said she has brought it up the last four years in a row.

Rep. Lee Denney, (R-District 33), hopes this is the year her bill, requiring a DNA sample during booking for a felony arrest, finally passes.               

“I sure believe in it. I think it’s the 21st Century crime fighting tool,” she said.

This time around, Denney said the sample taken will be not immediately be uploaded to the state's database. It'll be stored at the place of booking until there's enough evidence to go to trial, or the suspect flees. If not, Denney said the sample will be destroyed.

“It can definitely prevent rapes and murders,” said Andrea Swiech, the Division Director of Criminalistics at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).

Swiech has been going to bat for OSBI's system for years, trying to explain how their Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) works, hoping to calm fears.

“That they know when we get the DNA profiles, that there’s no way to hack into our system, that they are truly secure, that we’re not selling them to insurance companies, that the information is kept here and it stays here,” Swiech said about the reassurances she makes.

“All of the good faith intentions that there are in the world are not going to protect this data,” said Ryan Kiesel with the ACLU.

Kiesel is another familiar face to this fight. He said this year, same as in year's past, the tradeoff is not worth it.

“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,” he said.

The first reading for House Bill 2275 is Feb. 1.