State considers expanding DNA testing for felons

The Senate is debating legislation that would force DNA samples to be taken of any person arrested for a felony.

A Michigan Senate committee is considering a series of bills that would expand DNA collection to include all people arrested on suspicion of a felony charge. The bills were taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. Lawton Republican Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker says the expansion would "solve crimes and save lives." Schuitmaker introduced the bills last month.

Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich also supports the proposed legislation. We would use something like this|to have access to prior cases and to triangulate more knowledge for our investigations, Borkovich said. The American Civil Liberties Union says putting people in a DNA database before they're convicted of a crime could violate their legal rights and overburden the state's identification system.

Federal and State governments are becoming more and more intrusive. They are gathering more and more information and using it in more ways then we would ever imagine. The idea that they can be that intrusive|taking biological material from your body and seeing if maybe you committed a crime|it is a large turn from the history of this county, said Bill Fleener, Attoney, Michigan ACLU.

Michigan currently requires the collection of DNA samples at arrest on suspicion of violent felonies, like murder and rape.

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