Kentucky House Passes Bill to Take DNA After Felony Arrest

Feb 22, 2013

The House has passed a bill that would require police to take DNA samples from people they arrest on felony charges. The vote was 68 to 27 Thursday. The bill will proceed to the Senate for consideration.

If the measure becomes law, Kentucky would join the federal government and 25 states that take DNA samples from felony arrestees. The U.S. Supreme Court this year will consider the constitutionality of the testing based on a Maryland case.

Louisville Democrat Mary Lou Marzian, who sponsored the bill, says federal grants would help cover startup costs of 1.3 to 1.6 million dollars. She did not offer a figure for ongoing costs. Defense lawyers and other groups say the bill would threaten a defendant's rights.