Governor signs Schuitmaker, Jones DNA bills

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For Immediate Release
Jan. 12, 2015

Contact: Derek Sova
517-373-0793

LANSING, Mich.—Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on Monday requiring law enforcement to collect DNA samples from individuals arrested for committing a felony.

“This will provide our law enforcement officers with a critical tool allowing for more accurate investigations that will not only identify suspects, but eliminate them as well,” said Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, one of the bill sponsors. “Legislation passed last session expanding DNA collection has already been extremely successful at solving numerous cold cases and keeping dangerous people off the streets.”

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, also sponsored the legislation.

“While it is important that we are solving cold case crimes such as rape and murder with these DNA samples, we also want to ensure that we are destroying the DNA record of individuals found to be innocent,” said Jones.

The bills explicitly clarify that upon acquittal or a lack of conviction, the court will be responsible for ordering any record of the DNA sample destroyed.

A 2011 law, Public Act 127, also sponsored by Schuitmaker, required collection of DNA samples from all incarcerated individuals who had yet to provide a sample, and from all new convicts within 90 days of entering the prison population.

This law will require the collection of a DNA sample from anyone arrested for committing or attempting to commit a felony. A 2013 United States Supreme Court decision paved the way for this change.

In Maryland v. King the court determined that collecting a sample of DNA is a legitimate police booking procedure, like fingerprinting or photographing, and is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. The federal government and 28 states currently obtain the samples upon arrest.

“This legislation is about making sure justice is done,” said Schuitmaker. “Far too many have suffered for far too long as their cases languished, unsolved, in the justice system. This legislation provides law enforcement with another tool that will help bring criminals to justice.”

Senate Bills 105, 106, and 107 were signed into law as Public Acts 457, 458, and 459 of 2014.