Thursday, January 4, 2018
A bill authored by State Sens. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) and Joe Zakas (R-Granger) that requires DNA collection of individuals arrested for a felony went into effect Jan 1.
Senate Enrolled Act 322, passed in the 2017 session, requires all individuals arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample via cheek swab along with fingerprints, photographs and other data during the booking process.
The DNA profile will be run through the state’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and compared to other profiles in the database only after a finding of probable cause. If an individual is acquitted of all felony charges, the charges are lowered to a misdemeanor, or no charges are filed after one-year, the sample may be expunged.
This law also creates opportunity for the exoneration of the innocent by giving law enforcement accurate tools that solve crimes and convict criminals.
With this law, Indiana became the 31st state to allow DNA samples to be collected and used to solve and prevent crimes. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that such legislation is constitutional, and similar laws have solved tens of thousands of crimes across the country.