Yet another example of 'big brother' knows best from a Republican in the Colorado legislature.
Privacy? Innocent until proven guilty? Forget it, the state government wants to keep a record of even your DNA, even if you are not guilty of any crime.
Not surprisingly this legislation is sponsored by one of the more obvious Republican hypocrites in the State House -- the same guy who wanted to micromanage when all public schools in the entire state hold safety drills: Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction. Apparently Mr. King is for less government except for when he is for more government.
I'll take civil liberties and the Bill of Rights and local control whenever possible ... let's hope the rest of the state legislature does too in the end.
A House committee approved a measure Thursday that would require anyone arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample.
Senate Bill 241 passed by a vote of 8-3 in the House Judiciary Committee and now goes to the House Appropriations Committee.
Currently, only people who are convicted of crimes must submit DNA.
It's named Katie's Law after 22-year-old Katie Sepich, who was raped and murdered in New Mexico in 2003. Her killer was captured using DNA, and 15 states have passed such laws since her death.
Backers say testing people at the time of arrest will help catch criminals and save lives by running the DNA against evidence from other cases.
Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, said the database would provide a powerful new tool that would allow authorities to solve crimes that would otherwise go unsolved. He called it the most important new investigative tool in decades.
"This is a big deal," King told the committee.
Opponents say the measure blurs the line between accusation and conviction and that DNA information from innocent people shouldn't be put in a criminal database.
"What we're presuming today is a presumption of guilt until proven innocent," said Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo.
Lawmakers said only 13 of the millions of DNA markers available will be recorded in the database for each person. People who aren't charged can ask for their record to be removed.
Under the bill, those who are found innocent also can have their records removed. [Editors Note: Name the times the government or a mega-corporation ever actually removed personal information.Ha!]
The testing would cost the state about $1.9 million a year.