Council to debate DNA sampling

News 14 Carolina 01/13/03

Original Link:
http://www.news14charlotte.com/content/local_news/?ArID=19810&SecID=2

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The state’s DNA law will be under discussion at Monday night’s City Council meeting as Council members determine whether to ask Mecklenburg legislators to vote for expanding the state’s DNA sampling.

The program would require all convicted felons and those convicted of attempting felonies to give DNA samples to police.

Police said they are trying to enhance public safety, but others said the proposals will infringe on people's civil rights.

Chief Darrel Stephens said it would help speed up convictions.

"We're able to check it against that database and identify individual responsible for committing crimes more quickly right now," said Stephens.

The sample would be available to agencies across the state. But it is an idea that Councilman Harold Cogdell said is Big Brother getting bigger.

"I see it as a Big Brother trend by the government to monitor and watch every aspect of an individual's life," said Cogdell.

Stephens said he sees it as taking advantage of the resources available.

"We're taking new science, new technology applying in the forensic world and doing that we help create a safer community, state and country," said Stephens.

Twenty-three other states have DNA sampling, including South Carolina. The DNA database in that state has samples from more than 2,300 people.










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