Senate Sends Bill on DNA Collection to Gov. Holcomb's Desk

Last fall, a DNA sample collected in Ohio helped Indiana police link a man to the fatal shooting of John Clements, 82, in Zionsville, and two other attacks in October.

Enter Article DATE HERE


Indiana senators voted Thursday to allow DNA swabs to be taken upon a person's felony arrest rather than conviction, sending the measure to Gov. Eric Holcomb after opponents argued during the floor debate that the change is unconstitutional. 

The measure by Republican Sen. Erin Houchin of Salem previously advanced through the chamber but lawmakers again aired concerns Thursday, even prompting Senate leader David Long to take the floor and ask senators to cease debating the measure. 

The proposal was ultimately sent to Holcomb's desk in the same 36-13 vote as in February. "We have strong differences on the constitutionality and whether we should take this step or not," the Fort Wayne Republican said. "I ask the body to please go sit down, take a vote on this and let's move on. We've got a lot of work to do today and one week left." 

The governor has not taken a public stance on the bill. Spokeswoman Stephanie Wilson said Holcomb would "consider it carefully before making a final decision." Supporters of the bill contend it would help law enforcement officers to not only solve and connect crimes, but to exonerate the innocent. To critics, though, allowing for DNA collection upon felony arrest goes against the U.S. Constitution's protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The divide on the issue crosses party lines, with Republicans from the chamber's supermajority and Democrats joining in opposition.

 "If (law enforcement officers) find other reasons to suspect this person committed a crime ... then go get a warrant. What's wrong with getting a warrant in this country?" said Republican Sen. Mike Young of Indianapolis. "Today, at this moment, at this time, in this room, you have the ability to protect the rights of every Hoosier citizen."

Other opponents argue the bill needs to include automatic expungement of the collected DNA if the arrestee is ultimately exonerated. More than half of states allow for DNA collection in some form when a suspect is arrested or charged, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Indiana currently allows for collection only upon conviction. 

Last fall, a DNA sample collected in Ohio helped Indiana police link a man to the fatal shooting of John Clements, 82, in Zionsville, and two other attacks in October. Both Indiana and Ohio had an opportunity to collect DNA from the man, Damoine A. Wilcoxson, but of the two states only Ohio routinely collects DNA samples from arrestees. Sen. Brandt Hershman, a Lafeyette Republican, said collecting DNA was a technology advancement that could allow the criminal justice system to "work more effectively punishing the guilty and exonerating the innocent," citing the two girls found dead in his district in Delphi. "I would hope that having DNA records might be the very thing that'd bring this vicious person to justice," he said. "Not only to potentially bring the vicious person to justice but also ensure that we don't bring the wrong person to justice." ___ Senate Bill 322 can be found at: .

Rate this blog entry:
Page PD Tests New Burn Barrel
Crime-scene investigator made errors in 65 cases, ...

Related Posts

Blotter - Latest News

News By Region


stolen OxyContin sheriff withholding evidence stolen drugs stealing guns rape evidence — stealing money stolen cannabis Prosecutor Arrested report Wednesday Republican lawmakers untestes rape kits prosecutors Transient property Property Room Jobs State Agency Evidence Jobs stealing drug evidence stolen guns Sheriff pleads guilty SAKs skunky aroma wafted STOLEN CASH untestted sexual assault kits tampering with evidence rape kit standardarization seized money employee steal drugs property room inventory stolen cash Wichita Police Department Via URL Browse Media Upload tampered drugs Wrongful conviction state chips Untested rape kits stolen marijuana untested rape kit Untested Sexual Kits stealing drugs Untest rape kits Sergeant Arrested stolen ammunition Wrongful Conviction steal money stolen jewelry Washington State Patrol crime lab work stealing cash settlement Tulare Police selling guns show Sexual assault kit Theft Stolen pills Standards untested sexual assault evidence sexual assault kit tape rape kit audit rape kit unit stolen gun stolen evidence statute of limitations returned evidence unwanted medications wrongful conviction stolen cocaine Suicide Texas Forensic Science Commission stored as evidence stolen methamphetamine storage practices strange evidence trial taking marijuana rape kit backlog Sexual assault Survivors Bill of Rights unaccouted guns Rape kit theft of money Year storage bunker Trial at Riak state Division Signed Out Evidence sheriff arrested tampered evidence unsolved murder Thursday.Charles Holifield unaccounted drugs Untested rape kit release of evidence stored evidence urn untested sexual kit tampering with public record threw away evidence Ventura County sheriff sentence to jail State trooper accused sexual assault kits Thursday rape kits sexual assault task force sloppy evidence control United Kingdom tapes edited Williams theft of drugs trooper arrested security camera footage stolen money stolne guns trooper sentenced rcmp recovered property stealing cocaine untested rape kits woochy poochy state government St Wattier Storage week prosecutor report stealing pistols stolen drug from evidence West Coast Rape Kits Backlog side door Sheriff Arrested stolen meth sexual assault evidence serial rapist sex crime seized property Vancouver BC rape kit back log sergeant charged sexual assault cases sexual assault State/Province South Dakota Highway Patrolman state prison sheriffs employee gets jail sentence to prison

Search IAPE