House Substitute 1 for House Bill 29

150th General Assembly (Present)

Bill Progress

Out of Committee 6/5/19
Legislation has been voted out of Committee; now placed on the Ready List

Bill Details

4/11/19
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DNA ANALYSIS AND DATA BANK.
Establishing a suspect's identity is critical to their processing by law enforcement. DNA analysis provides unparalleled accuracy in establishing identity. The United States Supreme Court held that "DNA identification of arrestees is a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine booking procedure". Maryland v. King, 569 U.S. 435, 465 (2013). The establishment of an individual's DNA may identify the perpetrator of "some heinous crime" and may free "a person wrongfully imprisoned for the same offense". Id. at 456. The collection of a DNA sample by buccal swab (cheek swab) of a person is a reasonable and legitimate police booking procedure that should be available for identifying those arrested for serious crimes in Delaware. This Act creates a constitutionally sound procedure for collecting and analyzing arrestee DNA. First, the Act directs that biological samples only be obtained from those accused of committing designated serious felony offenses. Second, biological samples may only be taken from arrestees by the least intrusive method - a buccal swab. Third, samples may only be submitted for identification analysis after a determination of probable cause by a judge at a preliminary hearing or a grand jury by indictment. Finally, any DNA sample or analysis of a DNA sample shall be destroyed or expunged from a DNA database if probable cause is not determined or if all charges associated with the arrest of the individual are dismissed or the individual is found to be not guilty. This Act shall become effective upon the receipt of a federal grant to the State pursuant to the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law

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