The NJ Senate has expanded the use of DNA testing to require DNA samples for serious disorderly person’s convictions. This piece of legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Nicholas Sacco of North Bergen, New Jersey and approved on June 24, 2013. The bill approved by the Senate assists law enforcement with criminal investigations and is considered a means of deterring recidivism of repeat offenses. A final vote by the New Jersey General Assembly is needed for full approval.
DNA Testing has been used regularly by twenty-eight states and the US federal government. However, all fifty states presently require DNA sample collection from convicted felons. The chief purpose of DNA sampling collection is to expedite detection of felonious crimes. Under New Jersey state law, fingerprints are required for persons convicted of drug-related crimes, prostitution, domestic violence and shoplifting. Provisions in this bill do not apply to minor disorderly person’s offenses. Those who have been imprisoned or are on probation or parole will be required to submit a DNA sample. With this new legislation, DNA testing by expert testing groups like GTL DNA would enable law enforcement to resolve these criminal matter with certainty.
Hi-Tech Law Enforcement
With advancements in hi-tech equipment and sophisticated information tracking systems, law enforcement has changed radically from using less reliable fingerprints to DNA testing which assures greater identification accuracy. DNA sample results will be added to the New Jersey State Police database, the FBI and federal CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) already in existence. Hi-tech advancements will continue to aid in the improvement of law enforcement. The end result of these changes will be greater public security and protection from repeated crimes committed by known perpetrators. In addition, these legal measures insure faster capture of criminals. The other advantage of DNA sampling is that it protects those wrongly accused or misidentified by witnesses.
Supreme Court Ruling on DNA Sampling
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy wrote in reviewing the use of DNA sampling with regard to the Fourth Amendment that the DNA procedure was justified and reasonable in order for officers of law to process and identify convicted felons. In response to concerns regarding the Fourth Amendment applicable to search and seizure, Justice Kennedy wrote that taking a DNA swab from suspected felons was a “quick and painless” search.
A Powerful Tool That Protects the Public
Protecting the public at large is the main operative of law enforcement. The value of DNA testing groups like GTL DNA has increased as legislation allows law enforcement to use DNA samples becomes an important tool in crime prevention. The main points concerning DNA sampling for disorderly persons include:
- DNA samples will be required for serious disorderly persons
- DNA samples will also be required for repeat offenders
- The state police and federal databases will be regularly updated to keep criminal records up-to-date as DNA sample information is forwarded by the state.
- Justice for the public will advance as hi-tech law enforcement procedures are added for public safety.