What do you think? Should DNA be collected from Misdemeanor Offenders?
There is now a proposal on the table, in Colorado, to collect DNA from all misdemeanor offenders of those who commit a crime. In the state of Colorado this would mean the addition of over 30,000 people to the DNA database. This idea belongs to Dan Pabone, a lawmaker in Denver. In many studies the results have shown that many who commit a minor crime go on to commit more serious crimes in the future, and if the DNA was already on file it would make the investigators job easier to convict the right person, and in some cases exonerate suspects as well.
However, there are some concerns about this plan as well, what about the balance between public safety and a citizen’s rights? Is collecting every single criminals DNA intrusive? There would be samples from people who commit disorderly conduct to DUI and even public intoxication. For these minor offenses is it too intrusive to take their DNA? There is no guarantee that someone who is publically intoxicated one time will commit another serious crime in the future. Although, one can argue if you commit the crime it is only fair to put your DNA on file for future use, public safety is crucial isn’t it?
The other concern is if the DNA is collected from every misdemeanor offender and every other violent offender there will result in a massive amount of DNA swabs needing to be processed. This leads some people to wonder if there is going to be that many samples of DNA being processed the chance for cross contamination could increase. This could lead to false accusations and imprisonments down the road.
If Pabone gets this bill to pass in Colorado, the state would only be the second in the country to have an all-crime DNA database. New York is the other state that instituted this policy several months ago in August of 2012. This bill won’t cost the state a penny either, because offenders will be footing the bill for the DNA test.
What do you think? Would this be an invasion of citizen’s rights? Could this be beneficial to catching criminals in the future? Should all states institute this policy? What are the drawbacks to this proposition? Should offenders have to foot the bill for the DNA test? Please comment and let us know what you think below!