Critics are upset that DNA profiles wound up in Virginia’s DNA databank that shouldn’t have been there, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. They are also critical of the state’s proposed response. “If you follow the logic of the databank, the more data the better, leading to the inevitable conclusion that the state should have every person’s DNA,” said an ACLU executive. “At first, it was just convicted felons, then those arrested for most felonies, and now [it’s] anyone who ends up in the database by accident.”
Virginia’s computerized DNA databank has helped solve thousands of crimes, including at least one murder. Matches are sought between DNA evidence with the DNA profiles of 260,000 felons and others in the databank. The problem is, officials say “a few” of those hits involved DNA profiles that should not have been in the databank because the individuals, though initially charged with felonies, were not convicted of felonies. Two of the cases at issue are homicide investigations. But Virginia authorities believe they cannot turn the potential evidence over to police under state law.