By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — A bill that would allow for collection of DNA samples at the time of arrest passed the House on Thursday, despite questions about the constitutionality of collecting DNA prior to a conviction.
House Bill 89 passed the House 68-27. A similar bill has passed a Senate committee but has not yet been voted on by the full Senate. House Bill 89 would allow police to collect DNA evidence at the time of a felony arrest. That information would then be placed in a database. Police and prosecutors could run that DNA evidence against biological evidence collected from unsolved crimes.
The United States Supreme Court is expected to decide if the collection of DNA prior to a conviction is an invasion of privacy this summer. If the Supreme Court rules against pre-conviction DNA collection, the program will not take effect in Kentucky, said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, and sponsor of the bill. Kentucky law currently allows for the collection of DNA post-conviction.