Taking State’s Dna Law To Rest Of Nation
Newport Beach, Calif., real estate developer Bruce Harrington funded the initiative that gave police agencies in the state the power to take DNA samples from all convicted felons and some arrestees, and he wants other states to step up their level of DNA collection. Every state allows DNA sampling of those convicted of murder or sex crimes, but only 35 cover all felony crimes, and only California, Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas take samples from some arrestees.
Harrington is a big believer in DNA databases because the technology helped link the murders of his brother and sister-in-law, who was also raped, 25 years ago to someone responsible for killing nine other people in the 1980s and raping nearly 50 women.
“It’s clear from my family’s point of view–my two brothers and myself–that the only realistic way we’re going to identify who killed Keith and Patti is through DNA technology,” says Harrington. “And that is why we champion anything that will make more robust the DNA databank throughout the United States.”
Harrington contributed nearly $2 million to the Proposition 69 initiative last November, but the new law faces a legal challenge in U.S. District Court in San Francisco from the ACLU, which believes taking DNA samples of all felony arrestees amounts to unreasonable search and seizure, and is a violation of the U.S. Constitution as a result.
The state’s all-felon database its expected to hold 1 million samples, up from about 200,000 before the new law.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Los Angeles Times (12/24/04) P. B2; Rosenzweig, David .