AUSTIN (KXAN) — Wednesday night, the Senate passed House Bill 1399, a bill allowing law enforcement to collect DNA samples of people they arrest for violent crimes like murder, rape, and assault.
Right now, they can ask you to give a DNA sample but they have to get a judge to order you to do so. The big change here is this can now happen when someone is arrested — speeding up the entire process.
The DNA would go into a national database matching DNA with unsolved crimes.
The bill was amended to address concerns about what to do if someone is arrested but not convicted of a crime. If passed, it would require the DNA evidence to be destroyed if a person is not convicted.
Senator Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, the author of the bill, tells KXAN that New Mexico did something similar and quickly solved 1,500 cold cases.
Since the bill was changed in the Senate, the Texas House will have to sign off on the changes before it goes to Governor Abbott’s desk to sign or veto.
Creighton expects smooth sailing, saying:
“Having these provisions in place will help bring those who are the worst of society to justice and bring peace of mind who have had a hard time in the past.”