Pa. House votes to change DNA law

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Legislation to expand Pennsylvania’s DNA database has cleared the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 1523 would allow the taking of DNA samples when people are convicted of serious misdemeanors. The current database includes mostly those convicted of felonies.

State Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) said expanding the database in other states has resulted in more crimes solved and quicker arrests.

He said since New York began collecting DNA for misdemeanor convictions in 2012, there have been 1,875 “hits” on profiles obtained from low-grade theft convictions alone. Samples from simple assault convictions, he said, resulted in another 803 matches.

The bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

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