The Indiana General Assembly has reached the halfway point of the 2017 legislative session. In the Senate, I have been working on a number of important issues along with my colleagues.
One of my bills, Senate Bill 322, would give law enforcement a valuable tool which could find and bring more criminals to justice for their crimes. The bill would require all individuals arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample via cheek swab upon booking – similar to the way fingerprints, photographs and other data are collected upon all arrests.
Once probable cause has been determined, the DNA profile will be run through the state’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and compared to other profiles in the database. The sample can be removed from the database if the case is dismissed, the individual is exonerated, or if the felony is converted to a misdemeanor under certain circumstances.
DNA profiling is an accurate, widely used tool that will help law enforcement solve crimes and convict those who are responsible. My bill would give law enforcement the tools necessary to bring more criminals to justice for their crimes, put criminals away before they can hurt others, and can help exonerate those wrongfully accused.
If passed by the House and signed into law, Indiana would become the 31st state with this type of law. Keeping criminals off our streets and bringing peace to more victims and their families is crucial to making Indiana an even safer place to live, work and raise our families.
This session, I have also authored legislation to protect the unborn and strengthen parental rights when a minor child seeks an abortion, crack down on drug dealers pushing poison on our streets, improve our education system by moving the collective bargaining window to help teachers, limit superintendent contract buyouts to provide more money for our teachers and classrooms, and give State Police officers the raise they deserve.