Eklund's Bill Strengthens Crime Fighting Efforts
Legislation Now Heads To Governor
April 18, 2012
Collecting DNA is critical in solving criminal cold cases. Senate sponsored legislation that passed in the Ohio House of Representatives today will close a loophole in current state law giving authorities greater access to solve crimes.
Sponsored by State Senator John Eklund (R- Munson Township), Senate Bill 268 allows for the collection of a DNA sample from a person who is charged with a felony, but not technically arrested for the offense. Currently, anyone arrested in Ohio for a felony must submit a DNA sample. But, in some circumstances, a charged a person is summoned to court rather than arrested; therefore samples were not required.
In 2010, the General Assembly approved legislation that expanded the use of DNA sampling and established a biological evidence retention policy to better preserve and maintain evidence. Since then, more than 1,400 individuals have been added to a state DNA database and a number of cold cases have been solved.
"Advances in DNA technology have been a major help to law enforcement in their efforts to solve crimes, especially cold cases that have languished for years," Eklund said. "The changes made by Senate Bill 268 will ensure that all offenders facing felony charges are treated equally under our DNA laws."
Senate Bill 268 now heads to the Governor for his signature.