Representative King Says DNA Should be Taken During all Colorado Arrests

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Everytime someone is arrested in Colorado, fingerprints of that person are taken and added to criminal records. Now, Representative Steve King is saying that's not enough.

After spending nearly ten years in prison, 35-year-old Timothy Masters became a free man on January 22, 2008, when new DNA evidence showed he was not responsible for the murder he was convicted for.

Less than a week later, Boulder Police made an arrest in a murder case that went unsolved for ten years, after new DNA evidence put them on the trail of the suspected killer.

"I think it's time for us to look at whether DNA science is an idea whose time has come in Colorado," said Representative Steve King, (R) Grand Junction.

Representative King says that is now. He says he will propose new legislation that will require DNA samples to be taken at every arrest. He says they would be collected by means of an oral swab.

He says a law like this would not only deliver justice in violent cases like the two in January, but also help law enforcement get to the bottom of other crimes.

"That collection of DNA -- maybe blood off a broken window can end up clearing hundreds of burglary cases with just that one lead," said Representative King.

Representative King isn't the only who thinks this is a good idea.

"If every criminal on record had their DNA sampled, then we have a more likely chance of catching the criminal," said Brandon Duff, a Grand Junction resident who supports this measure.

Representative King says there will likely be some who think collecting DNA samples and putting them on the public record is too intrusive.

"That is a debate worth having," said Representative King. "The good of the State of Colorado versus the intrusiveness of an oral swab."

King says he is confident that he and other state leaders will choose the good of Colorado.

Fifteen states across the U.S. already have laws in place like the one Representative King is proposing.


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