DNA bill targets relatives

January 4, 2010
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Relatives of someone who commits a crime may find themselves under investigation under a proposed bill to regarding DNA testing.

Senate Bill 89 would amend Chapter 6 of Indiana Code 10-13 to add section 13.5, which authorizes the superintendent of a police department to investigate one or more people genetically related to an accused criminal whose DNA records are already in the state’s DNA database. The police would be allowed to start this investigation after the DNA sample of the accused doesn’t establish an exact match between the sample and the DNA profile of the alleged criminal, and the DNA sample indicates it closely matches the DNA profile of the person to suggest the DNA could actually come from a relative of the accused.

The bill is kind of vague in that it doesn’t define “investigation” or say whether the relative will have to give DNA solely based on this linkage to the relative already in the DNA database.

Obviously, I’m not a scientist and “closely matches” isn’t defined in the bill, but if you are related to someone, won’t you have very similar DNA? I imagine siblings’ DNA is more similar than those of second cousins, but what’s the line between “closely matching” and just ”kind of” matching?
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