New Bill Will Let FBI Profile Your DNA

A DNA evidence bill that would let police in the field, not just technicians in an accredited lab, quickly test the genetic material of suspects has advanced to the House floor.

The Seal of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. Source:

The measure centers around a relatively new screening instrument the size of a printer, called Rapid DNA.

The idea behind the technology is to swiftly clear innocents, detain criminals and free up technicians to clear rape kit backlogs, among other things, say Judiciary Committee members who advanced the bill.

Currently, only DNA swabs analyzed in a crime lab, a process that can take many weeks, are permitted to be run against the FBI’s central DNA database for matches.

The bipartisan House Rapid DNA Act, which the Senate unanimously approved in June, would authorize a cheek swab processed by the automated tool to be uploaded into the database, named CODIS.

Rapid DNA analysis would have “profound implications” for criminal justice, said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., who co-sponsored the measure.

….Responding to civil liberties concerns, the Judiciary aide pointed to a 2013 Supreme Court decision that ruled the warrantless collection of DNA from those arrested for a serious crime does not violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.

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