An act that requires all convicted felons in Pennsylvania to submit a DNA sample to the Pennsylvania State Police. Any felon serving a prison sentence must provide a DNA sample, regardless of if they were convicted before the effective start of the new law. Also removes the statute of limitations for felonies and certain misdemeanor sex offenses for DNA evidence.Passed last year, this new law increases the number of crimes for which convicts must submit DNA samples. Most of the crimes are sexual in nature, but the new law added burglary, robbery, and kidnapping to the list. These additions were due in part to research that shows criminal behavior changes over time, and people who commit crimes in the burglary and robbery categories are frequently involved in assaults, homicides and sex crimes. Even parolled felons must submit to the testing as the law affects anyone who is under some kind of observation/supervision.
Collected DNA samples are sent to places like the Bode Technology Group for processing. Currently, officials acquire a felon's DNA sample via his/her blood, but they will probably move to the old cotton-swab-in-the-mouth method as it is much more cost effective.
Pennsylvania is only one of the 30+ states that collect DNA material from convicted felons. And from what I heard on the radio this morning, PA got into the game kinda late, but is making serious headway.
And that has some privacy advocates and the ACLU nervous.
Technically, HB #835 covers only felony crimes -- not misdemeanors. And the DNA will only be made available to law enforcement personnel -- not insurance companies and HMOs. But some folks are saying that this is a slippery slope. They claim: Today it's felons, tomorrow traffic violations; and today crime investigators get the data, but tomorrow's insurance adjustors will be using it, too.