Supreme Court: Collecting DNA is OK
BATON ROUGE- The Supreme Court ruled police can collect DNA samples from people who are arrested for felonies, likening the collection to that of fingerprints or photos.
Louisiana State Police said today the ruling is a win for their ability to solve cold cases.
"It's important to collect those samples as early as possible, get those individuals into the DNA database to help generate investigations leads in cases that are going on as quickly as possible," said Dr. Joanie Brocato with the State Police Crime Lab.
Since Louisiana started collecting DNA from arrested individuals in 2003, more than 300,000 samples have been added to a database which has helped land more than 5,000 investigative leads.
Captain Doug Cain said last year a man who was arrested for kidnapping and rape was swabbed for a DNA sample, which eventually matched a profile from another rape in 2000.
"So 12 years that rape went cold, and this sample sat in CODIS, and his arrest on the 2012 rape linked him to the rape in 2000, so that's a win for not only the victim from last year but the victim from 12 years ago waiting for closure on that case," he said.
Cain says people who eventually have their charges dropped or aren't convicted of the charges they were arrested on can request to have their DNA expunged from the database.