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AZ moves to collect DNA samples from all arrestees

DNA is just like fingerprinting, state senator says, and an expanded database would help police solve more crimes, including some very violent ones.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor on

The federal government isn't alone in moving towards a policy of DNA fingerprinting everyone arrested. In Arizona, a Senate committee voted 5-1 to require anyone taken to a police station to submit to DNA testing, The Arizona Daily Star reports. That's a broad expansion from current laws that require DNA only from those convicted of serious felonies, sex crimes and offenses involving deadly weapons or dangerous instruments.

Sen. Chuck Gray, a Republican and former cop, is behind the measure and he justified the measure by pointing to a typically heinous criminal, the Baseline Rapist, who is charged with nine deaths and multiple assaults.

"You can go out and find that person and stake him out, rather than stake out all the possible hotels or motels where this guy might attack again," he said. "It's a great crime tool when used properly."
Gray dismissed privacy concerns, saying only those charged with criminal offenses would be sampled. Those cited for minor crimes would be unaffected.
Sen. Karen Johnson, a Republican, said that still leaves the question of the DNA profiles that are collected from people who are not convicted. Sen. Ron Gould, a Republican, said: "I don't really want them building a nationwide database of DNA samples."

To Gray, the sameples are as reliable and straigh-forward as fingerprinting.

"We have government databases now. We've taken fingerprints and we compare them to find the criminals. I haven't ever seen the police misuse the fingerprint process. [DNA is] just the logical next step of technology advances."
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