HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Senate today passed legislation to expand DNA collection without a search warrant to include people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime. The bill’s passage marks the third consecutive session that a similar proposal has passed the Senate. In the last two sessions, it has been rejected by the state House of Representative

The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, an opponent of Senate Bill 683:

“This warrantless DNA collection scheme is Big Government on steroids. People have a fundamental right to privacy in their bodies. That right doesn’t go away because the person has been arrested.

“If the government needs a DNA sample to connect the person to criminal activity, there is a simple process for doing that. Get a warrant.”

The following can be attributed to Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“A bipartisan group of representatives has recognized the flaws of this legislation. That’s why it has failed twice to win House approval.

“The General Assembly just finished work on a bill that would implement timelines for the testing of DNA evidence from crime scenes. This bill is completely counter-productive to that effort by bloating the annual workload of the state police DNA lab to four times its current rate.”

Senate Bill 683 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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