A state law requiring DNA samples of every person arrested for a violent offense in Michigan will create physical and fiscal problems, according to an official charged with carrying out the mandate. Starting in July, every suspect in a serious or violent crime — including assault, rape and armed robbery — will be required to undergo DNA testing, reports the Detroit News. Currently, only those convicted of violent crimes are routinely tested.
The legislation, signed into law by Gov. Jennifer Granholm just before the end of 2008, will mean nearly 20,000 additional criminal suspects annually will also be sampled and the information entered into a state database. “The legislation is well-intended and designed to protect everyone in Michigan by helping to determine if persons arrested for violent crimes may be responsible for other offenses,” said Capt. Michael Thomas, who heads the Michigan State Police forensic crime labs. “But the problem is this is unfunded legislation and coming at a time when everyone, especially in state government, is facing severe cutbacks.”