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State Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) today unveiled a draft of legislation she plans to introduce in the 2017 legislative session to require DNA collection from individuals arrested for a felony.

2015 Houchin

The legislation has received bipartisan support from Indiana lawmakers and the nonpartisan Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. She was joined by State Sen. Jack E. Sandlin (R-Indianapolis), State Rep. B. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend), State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer, and Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen.

Similar to how law enforcement gathers photographs, fingerprints and other identifying information after an arrest, this bill would allow police to collect DNA samples that would be uploaded to a registry. DNA samples from individuals who are later acquitted of felonies would be expunged from the registry.

“Keeping our communities safe and giving law enforcement every tool they need to do their jobs efficiently and accurately is a top priority,” Houchin said. “DNA profiling is an accurate, widely used tool that will help law enforcement solve crimes and convict those who are responsible.”

Houchin noted the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the practice of obtaining DNA samples from felony arrestees.

Currently, more than 30 states and the federal government have laws that authorize the analysis of DNA samples collected from individuals arrested or charged of certain crimes.

The Indiana General Assembly will reconvene on Jan. 3 to begin discussing proposed legislation.

A Preliminary Draft of Houchin’s proposed legislation is attached below.

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