Arrestee DNA collection bill clears House panel

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday voted 11-0 in favor of a proposal to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested and charged with a felony.

House Bill 1577 advanced to the full House after committee discussed concerns about how collection of DNA buccal swabs may be expunged from criminal databases in the event charges are dropped or a person is not convicted.

Indiana law currently limits collection of DNA samples from people convicted of a felony. HB 1577, introduced by Rep. Greg Steuerwald, D-Avon, would align Indiana with the majority of states that collect buccal swabs from people who are arrested on suspicion of a felony.

Several lawmakers proposed the change due in large part to the compelling story of Damoine Wilcoxson. He was linked to the September 2016 murder of Zionsville resident John Clements by a DNA sample that Ohio law enforcement collected when Wilcoxson was arrested for another crime.

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