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Arizona bill may compel broad range of citizens to submit DNA to a state database

Arizona bill may compel broad range of citizens to submit DNA to a state database

And pay a $250 fee for sample processing as well

Arizona is poised to become one of the first states to maintain a massive statewide DNA database.

According to the proposed bill, a wide array of volunteers and those in certain job classifications will have to submit samples of their DNA to build the biological library.

Under Senate Bill 1475, which Sen. David Livingston, R-Peoria, introduced, DNA must be collected from anyone who has to be fingerprinted by the state for a job, to volunteer in certain positions or for a myriad of other reasons.

The bill would even authorize the medical examiner’s office in each county to take DNA from any bodies that come into their possession.

The Department of Public Safety would maintain the collected DNA alongside the person’s name, Social Security number, date of birth and last known address.

Any DNA in the database could be accessed and used by law enforcement in a criminal investigation. It could also be shared with other government agencies across the country for licensing, death registration, to identify a missing person or to determine someone’s real name.

The measure lists a broad range of people who would have to submit DNA samples:

  • A person who is required by law to submit fingerprints for purposes of identification as part of an application for licensure, certification or a permit or renewal of a license
  • A person whose employment or position requires fingerprinting for purposes of identification
  • A person who is employed or volunteering with a law enforcement agency
  • A person who, for any other reason, is required by law to submit fingerprints for purposes of identification
  • A deceased person
  • A person who is ordered by the court to submit DNA identification for purposes of proving or disproving familial relationships

There would be a $250 fee for sample processing as well. The impetus for this bill is the case of the comatose woman who gave birth and DNA testing of employees revealed it was a nurse who fathered the child.

The issue is triggering privacy concerns, as well as complaints about the fee.

Meanwhile, DNA evidence has been used to solve a decades-old cold case involving the brutal murder of an 11-year-old.

In July 1973, 11-year-old Linda Ann O’Keefe disappeared while walking home from school. The following day, her body was found among the cattails in Newport Beach’s scenic Back Bay.

The case remained cold until last year, when the police department tried a new tactic using social media. In a series of first-person tweets, detectives highlight details of Linda’s killing in hopes it would yield new clues. They called it Linda’s Story.

On Wednesday, a new chapter was added: The arrest of a Colorado man suspected in the girl’s slaying and identified through the use of genealogical DNA. Detectives said the break occurred after a snapshot profile of a possible suspect in the killing was generated from DNA evidence found at the crime scene.

The DNA samples used were part of the crime scene or as part of the formal investigation.

DNA-testing has its place. But forcing citizens to give samples to gain employment, and to pay a hefty fee to do so, is clearly an ill-conceived idea.

Truly, the government would get the last drop of blood from us if it could.


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The bill is totally unnecessary. They caught the guy that impregnated the comatose woman with his DNA that they got a sample of because of probable cause

This is just a typical overreaction that is found on both sides of the aisle whenever something bad happens. There is no way they’re getting my DNA and having me pay for the privilege if I haven’t committed a crime

    What they want to establish here is a database that they can mine without having to go through the trouble of getting a warrant. This will be so ripe for abuse that it should be prohibited… too many times we’ve seen “public servants” abuse their positions of power for a variety of reasons. Power corrupts, absolutely.

The Friendly Grizzly | February 23, 2019 at 12:24 pm

A Republican proposed this bill so it’s okay. Right?!? /s

Over the years I’ve often responded to those who want mandatory gun registration if they also support mandatory DNA testing of everyone “just in case.”

I never realized some idiot in Arizona would take me literally.

so arizona may now require a dna sample from applicants for certain state employment positions and other ” myriad ” reasons–but we are unable to insist on proof of citizenship/eligibility to vote in state/national elections or to collect ” myriad ” government benefits?

come on

I can remember my mother, back in the 50s, complaining about having to be fingerprinted to be a teacher. DNA is not conceptually different.

    Formerly known as Skeptic in reply to Petrushka. | February 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Fingerprinting your mother was done to ensure that she had no hidden criminal background which is a valid use.

    However, if your Aunt committed a crime, they couldn’t use your mother’s fingerprints to find her. That’s what they’re trying to do here. If they get a big enough database, they can find anyone including those never consented to being tested.

Stupid beyond belief. How much you want to bet the sponsors of this bill would be exempted?

Let them show probable cause for a specific crime. Otherwise it’s a violation of the 4th A., IMHO.

    Oh, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the elected officials who are proposing this have every intention to exempt themselves. Now add in the travesty of ‘touch DNA’ being used for criminal prosecution, the general ineptness of state labs, and the fact that people shed skin and hair cells like a microscopic fog, and you have the nightmare scenario of being accused of a crime where “Your DNA was found at the scene” and absolutely no way to defend yourself.

God, our legislators can be such idiots. Sheriff Joe & Russell Pearce must be hoisting a tall one. This should never make it out of committee.

The bill hasn’t passed, right? I doubt it will. Could be just grandstanding, or stupidity.

So we are going to violate constitutional rights in lieu of the police conducting a proper investigation. It is so easy to take away our rights and liberties. And once again, CA will be blamed. This is a major reason why I have yet to move to AZ. I really don’t like what I am seeing. I don’t want to re-experience what happened in CA. How about everyone pay attention to the idiots in their own states first before blaming us CA transplants.

I like the idea of legislators being fingerprinted and giving a DNA sample. That’s a great idea for an initiative petition, better yet, let’s imbed this proviso in the state constitution as a requirement for candidates to run for office.

I think the answer to run amok politicians is to run amok with the initiative petition process.

On Feb 20, 1907, Teddy Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded “idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, and insane persons” from being admitted into the United States.

Can we apply this to current citizen’s?

We can start with members of local and state government. Then Congress etc.

civil rights issues aside, can you imagine what a database like this would be worth to insurance companies(life but particularly health)?–does the government really believe that a database like this would remain secure, immune to hacking and exploitation for profit?–with that sort of $$$ involved could imagine insurance execs would be absolutely salivating over the prospects(as would be big pharma)

To me this sounds like an unreasonable search and seizure as well as being forced to become a witness against oneself.

I assume this DNA sample would also be required to get or renew a Concealed Weapons Permit. I know you don’t need one to carry in AZ, but some of us get them anyway.

Time AZ got another smackdown from SCOTUS

This will also put a crimp in people volunteering. I had to submit to fingerprints to volunteer as an Ambassador at the airport, my neighbor for volunteering as part of our Sheriff’s auxiliary force that helps with crowd events like parades or road closures due to wildfires, etc. I know people who won’t do these positions just because of the fingerprinting/background check. Having to give a DNA sample, much less pay for it will add many more people refusing to do these ‘jobs’. We were already subjected to additional ‘ID proof’ rules this year even if we’ve been in the role for years with multiple background checks.

I had to pay $50. to get fingerprinted for my NYS employment. My fingerprints are already in file through the Navy. But- it was a condition of employment. NYS doesn’t allow private employers to do the same- unless it’s for jobs that the state has mandated it be done. Like licensed childcare.

Oh, forgot to add- the $250. seems outrageous. Basic DNA through Ancestry or 23andme is $99. right now. For $250 the state at least ought to provide all the tests that the $199. fee gets you at 23andme.

regulus arcturus | February 23, 2019 at 5:36 pm

The azcentral story is fake news/false.

The author of the bill has explained that the initial version which implicated broad application was simply a preliminary “placeholder” bill, and that subsequent versions significantly narrowed any application of DNA collection.

While I do not like the idea behind the entire bill, the information as reported by azcentral is false.

    stevewhitemd in reply to regulus arcturus. | February 23, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    You mean, the subsequent versions are narrowed NOW. If the placeholder hadn’t attracted any attention, it would have gone through. Certainly works that way in the Illinois legislature.

      regulus arcturus in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 23, 2019 at 8:09 pm

      No, that’s not how the AZ Legislature works.

      The author/committee chair dropped the preliminary bill to create a placeholder for further committee debate.

      The bill has been subsequently revised at least twice, and is completely different from the initial version.

The “required by law to submit fingerprints for purposes of identification” language would appear to include anybody applying for or renewing a driver’s license, since if I recall correctly Arizona, like most (all?) states requires a fingerprint to do so. That’s pretty much every adult, not just those who need fingerprinting for employment purposes. It also appears to include, as noted by another poster, people applying for a concealed carry permit.