Misdemeanor convictions in Colorado could call for DNA swab

Whether it’s an assault or a relatively minor offense such as destroying a library book, Coloradans convicted of a misdemeanor would have to open wide and say “aaagh,” should lawmakers pass a requirement that the state collect from them an oral DNA sample.

In what’s billed as an ambitious effort to solve cold cases, exonerate those wrongfully convicted and quell future crimes, a Democratic state lawmaker wants to require that individuals convicted of Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanors must submit a DNA sample to be stored in a statewide database system.

But this effort to expand DNA collection to misdemeanor convictions has raised concerns about privacy issues and the rationale behind such a requirement.

“DNA is the 21st century fingerprint,” said Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat, who is the sponsor of the legislation that’s set to be heard before a House committee Thursday. ” We have become so sophisticated in our technology and science, we can without a shadow of a doubt link someone physically to a crime.”

Already in Colorado, individuals arrested on a felony charge and some misdemeanors involving unlawful sexual conduct are required to provide the state with a DNA sample. And those convicted of a misdemeanor under the proposed legislation would have to pay a $128 fee to cover the costs of the sample.

Read more at The Denver Post