The number of cold-case crimes solved through the use of DNA is likely to jump in Colorado, regardless of whether Gov. Bill Ritter signs a bill that would authorize collection of DNA from people arrested on suspicion of committing felonies, the Denver Post reports. The FBI will soon begin taking DNA samples from people arrested for alleged federal felony criminal offenses and from suspected illegal immigrants. By 2012, the FBI’s action alone could increase the number of samples added to the National DNA Index System from both state and federal sources to more than 1.3 million annually. The undertaking is so enormous that the FBI had to automate its DNA sample collection system and still must add capacity to the system.
There already are 7 million DNA profiles in the system, including 260,000 from crime scenes. More than 177,000 of the DNA profiles have come from 17 states that require people to submit samples upon their arrest. The FBI database has generated DNA matches in more than 86,000 criminal cases nationwide. The pending bill in Colorado would dramatically increase the number of people required to provide DNA upon arrest.