Having financed the California initiative that empowered law enforcement to take DNA samples from all convicted felons and some arrestees, Newport Beach, Ca., real estate developer Bruce Harrington will try to enact similar policies in other states, says the Los Angeles Times. Harrington put nearly $2 million into the Proposition 69 campaign in November.
All 50 states require DNA sampling of those convicted of murder or sex crimes, but only 35 states cover all felony crimes. Only California, Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas take samples from certain arrestees. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit this month, contending that California’s Proposition 69 violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure. The suit argues that the new regulations should not be enforced against people who have been arrested but not yet convicted of felonies or former felons who are no longer under court supervision. The state’s database contained more than 200,000 DNA samples from offenders convicted on any of 36 serious and violent felonies, including murder, manslaughter, rape, carjacking, and arson. The new all-felon database will contain 1 million samples. In 2009, it also will include all felony arrestees.