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senate Bill S. 2348

Do Police Officers Need to Have Rapid DNA Tests at Their Disposal?

Argument in favor

Rapid DNA tests can be used to quickly check evidence against nationwide crime databases while a suspect is still in custody. That will allow law enforcement to make better informed decisions about holding or releasing the suspect and ensure that criminals don’t go free.

Evan's Opinion
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04/27/2016
We need this bill to finally get the thousands of rape kits tested.
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Mark's Opinion
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04/27/2016
As long as tests are strictly done under FBI guidelines, it's worth doing to get through the backlog of rape kits alone
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David's Opinion
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04/29/2016
Yes, allowing officers to administer the taking of the sample, providing they have been trained. No they should not execute the test to obtain results. Only highly trained professionals are capable (even CSI shows that).
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Argument opposed

DNA tests should be administered by trained professionals at crime labs, not by police officers at a booking station, as there’s too much at stake for an error to be made. Aside from that, Rapid DNA tests could reveal other personal health information and undermine privacy.

Curran's Opinion
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04/27/2016
Rapid meaning "on the spot" then there's no purpose for a warrant. The 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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Sid's Opinion
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04/27/2016
No, this sounds good but you should have to have a warrant to do a DNA test and obviously in a situation where you need a DNA test at the scene of the crime a warrant wouldn't be possible.
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Matthew's Opinion
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04/27/2016
Dna can be stored safely for the required time to get the sample to the lab, and get a warrant. DNA tests like these have the very large potential to invade people's privacy and disclose things they might not want to share.
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What is Senate Bill S. 2348?

This bill would update current law to allow DNA samples to be processed using Rapid DNA technology, which can shorten analysis time from as much as two months to two hours. It would allow analysis to be performed with Rapid DNA instruments located at police department booking stations and other approved locations. Expedited evidence analysis would allow local law enforcement officers to make a more informed decision about holding or releasing a suspect that’s still in custody.

Rapid DNA devices would be required to be used in accordance with standards and procedures issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ensure the integrity of the devices and the accuracy of results.

Current law prohibits police officers from running the results of a Rapid DNA test through the FBI’s CODIS database, as only results from accredited crime laboratories can be used. This legislation would undo that prohibition so long as tests are conducted in accordance with FBI guidelines.

Impact

Suspects who would undergo a Rapid DNA test; law enforcement officers; crime laboratories; and the FBI.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2348

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced this bill to expand the use of Rapid DNA technology among law enforcement because it accelerates the DNA analysis process:

“Rather than having to wait weeks or even months for results, law enforcement agencies will be able to know within two hours whether a suspect in custody is wanted for other crimes or has a connection to evidence at a crime scene. Rapid DNA technology will also help law enforcement more quickly exclude individuals from suspicion. This bill will enable officials to make faster, better-informed decisions about whether individuals in custody should be held or released and will help to keep dangerous criminals off our streets.”

Currently this legislation has the support of 10 bipartisan cosponsors equally divided between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.


Of Note: Rapid DNA technology would also assist law enforcement in getting through a sizeable backlog of rape kits that hadn’t been tested for DNA. A 2015 report by USA Today found that there were more than 70,000 untested rape kits at over 1,000 law enforcement agencies, and there are likely more than that given that the U.S. has 18,000 police departments.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user DanCentury)

AKA

Rapid DNA Act of 2016

Official Title

A bill to implement the use of Rapid DNA instruments to inform decisions about pretrial release or detention and their conditions, to solve and prevent violent crimes and other crimes, to exonerate the innocent, to prevent DNA analysis backlogs, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The senate Passed June 16th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedDecember 3rd, 2015

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    We need this bill to finally get the thousands of rape kits tested.
    Like (8)
    Follow
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    Rapid meaning "on the spot" then there's no purpose for a warrant. The 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    Like (14)
    Follow
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    No, this sounds good but you should have to have a warrant to do a DNA test and obviously in a situation where you need a DNA test at the scene of the crime a warrant wouldn't be possible.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    As long as tests are strictly done under FBI guidelines, it's worth doing to get through the backlog of rape kits alone
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Dna can be stored safely for the required time to get the sample to the lab, and get a warrant. DNA tests like these have the very large potential to invade people's privacy and disclose things they might not want to share.
    Like (4)
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    This is an invasion of privacy. Also, police officers are not trained in DNA testing. Only someone trained in DNA testing, such as a medical examiner, should be doing this.
    Like (3)
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    Speed usually means more opportunities for error! Even as a white middle class woman, this looks like yet another way to victimize people of color. We have so frequently seen police overreach & brutality fueled by institutional racism, let us NOT create another way to quickly dispose of black & brown citizens who those with guns & badges find inconvenient. HELL NO!
    Like (2)
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    Considering the amount of corruption that already exists in police departments, it wouldn't be wise to further empower the state to fill prisons in the new Jim Crow era of mass incarnation.
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    Protecting the innocent from the wicked is truly expedient!
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    Yes, allowing officers to administer the taking of the sample, providing they have been trained. No they should not execute the test to obtain results. Only highly trained professionals are capable (even CSI shows that).
    Like (2)
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    Any evidence and support will help in the line of justice for both law enforcement and person of interest.
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    Only after a suspect has been taken into custody. This test is actually extremely accurate. So those claiming it isn't reliable should actually look into it. If it can more quickly solve crimes and rule out innocent people, then I say yes!
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    Rapid DNA testing machines are a wish of the future. Besides, it's a lab tech thing, not law enforcement.
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    This should be decided at a state or local level, not a federal level.
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    DNA testing is a delicate process that if done wrong can have disastrous consequences. Instead streamline the process we have now
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    No more loss of liberty without court order.
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    There is absolutely no way that this wouldn't be abused.
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    I agree with the nay explanation
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    Yes, if the results are simply matched against a database and then trashed, we should provide law enforcement with this tool. This being said, it had better be a pretty damned accurate test!
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    I don't think a DNA test should be handled by an officer, it's not their place and should be left to professionals
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