The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 19, 2013

DNA testing bill clears state House panel


Associated Press

LEWISBURG — HARRISBURG — A legislative panel has approved a bill to allow DNA testing of many criminal suspects in Pennsylvania before they are convicted.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday amended the legislation to bar police from downloading the DNA samples into a state or national database until the suspect is held for court or waives his right to a preliminary hearing.

Also approved was an amendment would give local prosecutors up to 30 days to convince a judge that the DNA of certain suspects should stay in government computer files even if they’re acquitted or charges against them are dropped.

The bill now goes to the full House, although debate there isn’t expected before December.