PHOENIX -- The Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill to require police to spend $4M more a year to seize DNA from everyone arrested in the state.
SB 1267 is sponsored by Mesa Republican Chuck Gray.
Gray's bill goes way too far, mandating police to seize DNA from an estimated additional 75,000 people a year, and again exposes the GOP as the party of big police state government.
So much for any presumption of innocence until proven guilty. An arrest does not mean you are guilty of any crime, only a conviction in court does.
Gray's bill has no provisions that would require police to show a need for DNA samples, or to allow those arrested but innocent to get their DNA removed from police databases.
Currently, DNA sampling in Arizona is wisely only allowed after conviction in cases where it may be needed, such as rape and murder, and also all felonies. Certainly there are appropriate uses of DNA evidence in modern crime fighting, and convicted felons should be dealt with appropriately. But DNA is much more than fingerprints, and seizing DNA from everyone arrested would be severe over-kill and a big violation of our American civil liberties.
Gray's bill is almost certainly a violation of the US Constitution Bill of Rights 4th Amendment that protects Americans, it says: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The full Arizona Senate should reject Gray's unwise bill, but likely won't.
If not, Governor Napolitano should veto.