Bill would require DNA to be collected from arrestees

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would require police to collect DNA from those arrested for violent crimes.

The bill is known as “Katie’s Law,” named in honor of Katie Sepich, who was brutally murdered in New Mexico in 2003. Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-Hopkinton and Westerly) is the sponsor.

According to DNA Saves, a non-profit group that educates “about the value of forensic DNA,” “Every day innocent people needlessly become victims of violent crimes. Most of these are committed by repeat offenders. By passing state legislation that enables law enforcement to collect DNA from felony arrestees, at the same time as fingerprints, your state can catch criminals sooner.”

Right now, Rhode Island only collects DNA from convicted felons.

The legislation now moves to the full House for approval.

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