Booking soon to include DNA swab

Published 06/15 2013 10:05PM

Updated 06/17 2013 02:00PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Investigators into violent crimes will soon have an extra tool. The Supreme Court ruled they can DNA test suspects immediately after arrest. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis explains how the idea is taking off in Illinois.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled DNA testing is a legitimate booking procedure and does not violate the 4th Amendment. Here in Illinois, Cook County will start testing in July and Sangamon County is in the planning stages.

"This is just an update in technology. That's why we're not concerned at all as far as violating somebody's rights."

That test can be done even before someone has been tried or convicted of wrongdoing.

"Criminals don't want us to have any access to the evidence that's going to convict them, and this, collecting DNA, is certainly a positive way to identify an offender."

The jail will begin swabbing the insides of mouths, right along with photographing and fingerprinting.

"Fingerprinting requires eight points to make a positive identification. With DNA testing, it either matches, or it doesn't. Whenever it matches, it's such a clear difference, there's no doubt about who the offender is, so it'll be a much more efficient way of identifying somebody."

Those DNA samples will be turned over to the National Registry which could become a gateway for officers to solve other unsolved crimes.

"All the counties should be doing this. I think the entire country should be doing this because it will create these databases that will give us a more efficient way to identify somebody. The offenders will cross state lines all the time, so, by having these databases to compare to, I think it will help all of law enforcement across the country."

Sangamon isn't the only county on board with DNA testing. Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh says DNA testing is a positive thing and his team is working on using it too. Macon County Sheriff Thomas Schneider says there's no doubt they'll use it, and he's pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling.

Illinois is one of 28-states which will use DNA testing as well as the federal government.

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