RESULTS AS OF March 14, 2016
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GA SB 77
Senate Bill 77:”Georgia DNA Sampling, Collection, and Analysis; provide for analysis and collection of DNA for individuals arrested and convicted of felony offenses;
A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Article 6A of Chapter 3 of Title 35 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to DNA sampling, collection, and analysis, so as to provide for analysis and collection of DNA for individuals arrested and convicted of felony offenses; to revise and add definitions; to change provisions relating to time and procedure for obtaining DNA samples; to change provisions relating to expungement of profiles in the data bank; to amend Code Section 17-6-1 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to where offenses are bailable, procedure, and schedule of bails, so as to provide a cross-reference for purposes of DNA collections as a condition of bail; to provide for related matters; to provide for a contingent effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
Senate Bill 77 seeks to modify, or add, language requiring anyone arrested under suspicion of having perpetrated a serious felony crime, in addition to being finger printed and photographed, to surrender a DNA sample for inclusion in the database of crimes and criminals shared across Georgia’s many criminal justice jurisdictions.
Federal law has been moving steadily towards pushing states to collect and submit to the shared national database (CODIS) DNA profile data. Even in states where such laws now exist, Tennessee, by example, some legal experts question the Constitutionality:
‘To allow arrestee DNA testing would “snuff out probable cause-the oxygen for the Fourth Amendment,” resulting in arrestees being searched “without requiring law enforcement to show any nexus between the arrestee and the crime for which his or her DNA is sought.” Despite judicial warnings that obtaining DNA from “free persons,” which includes arrestees, should be constrained by the Fourth Amendment, the federal legislature passed the Justice for All Act of 2004, allowing for DNA testing of arrestees.’ (see below)
Others, however, feel strongly that the public interest is served by the forced taking of DNA samples for those arrested for serious felonies. A bill introduced in the Georgia Senate in 2011 by Senator Josh McKoon would have required persons arrested for felonies to submit to DNA testing. While his bill passed the Senate, this aspect of the law was changed in the House prior to passage into law. (see below)
NOT SURE HOW TO VOTE? Get more info here:
- Read SB 77
- Woodstock Patch
- Athens Online
- UCLA Law Review
- Arrest for the purpose of DNA sampling
- Tennessee Journal of Law and Policy
- The University of Dayton School of Law