Monday, June 3, 2013

My Statement on a Supreme Court DNA Decision

Today I released the following statement regarding a Supreme Court decision (Maryland v. King) allowing police departments to collect DNA samples from people arrested of a crime:

“Today’s monumental decision by the Supreme Court makes it clear that collecting DNA evidence from those arrested of a crime doesn’t violate the Constitution or the rights of those involved.  With this decision in hand, our Commonwealth should act quickly and decisively to provide our criminal justice system with a powerful tool that has tremendous power to exonerate the innocent, prosecute the guilty, and identify those who may pose a further threat to public safety.

My conversations with those in law enforcement, victims, their advocates, and others have made a compelling case that DNA evidence collected after arraignment can be properly safeguarded and disposed of if a conviction isn’t obtained, and that the benefits from collecting it are substantial.

Senate Bill 1176 authorizes this modern-day version of fingerprinting, and the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security should act on it as soon as possible.”


Click here to read the bill in its entirety.