Senate OKs bill to require pre-conviction DNA from suspects

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Senators are trying again to require the DNA testing of suspects accused of certain crimes in Pennsylvania.

The Senate approved the bill Monday, 33 to 14. It’s the third time in four years the Senate has passed such a bill, but it keeps running into conflicts with the House of Representatives.

Current state law requires people convicted of serious felonies to submit to a DNA sample.

This bill would require DNA sampling after an arrest is made, but prior to any conviction. It also would expand the list of offenses for which testing is required, including simple assault and trespassing.

Sen. Dominic Pileggi says it would greatly expand the ability to solve and prevent crimes. Law enforcement groups support it, while the American Civil Liberties Union opposes it.

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