Doyle supports bill to make everyone arrested for felonies give DNA
Gov. Jim Doyle says he supports a new bill to make everyone arrested for felonies give their DNA as they get booked.
Right now, only those convicted of felonies have to provide samples - and up to 12,000 never made it to a state database.
Doyle says too many people fall through the cracks under the current system, and the new bill would make things easier by having only the police take samples.
It would also expand the state's DNA database of criminal suspects, and one of the bill's sponsors Rep. Ann Hraychuck, D-of Balsam Lake, said it would help solve old crimes and exonerate the innocent.
Hraychuck, a former Polk County sheriff, joined Doyle at his news conference where he said he would sign the bill.
The Legislature will take it up this fall. Doyle says he understands concerns from the American Civil Liberties Union that taking DNA at the arrest stage would be too expensive and violate privacy.
Although DNA identifies a person's genetic and health background, Doyle says the government only uses it to identify people.
And he says anyone who opposes taking DNA at an arrest would also be against the standard procedure of taking mugshots and fingerprints.
The bill would also drop people's DNA from the database if they're not charged or convicted but those people would have to ask.
Hraychuck does not know how much the effort would cost. She says a number of fee options are being considered for raising the money.