Monday, June 3, 2013

Senator Tarr's Statement on Today's Supreme Court DNA Decision in Maryland v. King

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) released the following statement today regarding a Supreme Court decision (Maryland v. King) allowing police departments to collect DNA samples from people arrested for a crime:

“Today’s monumental decision by the Supreme Court makes it clear that collecting DNA evidence from those arrested for a crime doesn’t violate the Constitution or the rights of those involved.  With this decision in hand, our Commonwealth should act quickly and decisively to provide our criminal justice system with a powerful tool that has tremendous power to exonerate the innocent, prosecute the guilty, and identify those who may pose a further threat to public safety.

My conversations with those in law enforcement, victims, their advocates, and others have made a compelling case that DNA evidence collected after arraignment can be properly safeguarded and disposed of if a conviction isn’t obtained, and that the benefits from collecting it are substantial.

Senate Bill 1176 authorizes this modern-day version of fingerprinting, and the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security should act on it as soon as possible.”

Click here to read the full text of Senate Bill 1176.