The Department of Justice wants lawmakers to make it easier to collect DNA samples from convicted felons.
A review of the state’s DNA database last year found samples from several thousand convicted felons were either missing or never collected. DOJ spokesman Kevin St. John says they’ve been working since then to gather those, with about one third collected so far.
However, St. John says collecting samples from felons who won’t voluntarily give it up is proving difficult. DOJ wants a change in state law that would help to simplify the process by clearly defining when samples have to be provided and making it easier to compel felons who are no longer in state custody to submit their DNA.
Currently, DOJ has to launch criminal proceedings to collect a DNA sample from someone who is no longer in the state’s custody. St. John says that can be time consuming and not always easy for the state to win.
A legislative committee approved the bill Thursday. It now heads to a vote on the Assembly floor.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:13)