OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6489 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT REQUIRING DNA TESTING OF PERSONS ARRESTED FOR THE COMMISSION OF A SERIOUS FELONY.

SUMMARY:

Beginning October 1, 2011, this bill requires law enforcement agencies to require anyone they arrest for any of 39 serious felonies to provide a DNA sample before they are released from custody if the arrestee (1) is a convicted felon and (2) has not provided a DNA sample. The law enforcement agency that makes the arrest sets the time and place for collecting, and collects, the sample. The agency must use available resources to collect the sample.

The bill eliminates the requirement for (1) convicted felons and (2) offenders convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of sex offenses that generally require registration with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to provide a sample before they are released from custody or commitment or are sentenced without confinement, as applicable, if they provided a sample at the time of their arrest.

The bill expands the circumstances under which the DPS' Division of Scientific Services must expunge a DNA profile from the DNA data bank and the State Police forensic laboratory must purge all records of it. It eliminates the requirement for offenders to request the expungement or purging.

Lastly, the bill makes technical changes.

*House Amendment “A” limits the arrestees who may be required to provide a DNA sample to convicted felons, requires law enforcement agencies to use available resources, requires the Division of Scientific Services to analyze this DNA only if resources are available, and makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

PROVIDING DNA SAMPLES

Upon Arrest

The bill requires people arrested for the following select felony offenses to provide a DNA sample before they are released from custody.

Murder

Capital Felony

Felony Murder

Arson Murder

First- and Second-Degree Manslaughter

First- and Second-Degree Manslaughter with a Firearm

Second-Degree Manslaughter with a Motor Vehicle

Misconduct with a Motor Vehicle

First- and Second-Degree Assault

First- and Second-Degree Assault of elderly, disabled, or pregnant person

Second-Degree Assault with a Firearm

Second-Degree Assault of elderly, disabled, or pregnant person with a firearm

First-Degree Sexual Assault

Aggravated First-Degree Sexual Assault

Spousal Rape

Third-Degree Sexual Assault with a Firearm

First- and Second-Degree Kidnapping

First- and Second-Degree Kidnapping with a Firearm

First-Degree Unlawful Restraint

Home Invasion

First- and Second-Degree Burglary

Second- and Third-Degree Burglary with a Firearm

First- and Second-Degree Arson

First-, Second-, and Third-Degree Robbery

Assault of Public Safety, Emergency Medical, or Public Transit Personnel

Prison Rioting

Inciting Prison Rioting

First-Degree Stalking

By law, the DPS' Division of Scientific Services analyzes, classifies, and files the results of all DNA samples. The bill requires the division to analyze, classify, and file arrestees' DNA only if resources are available to do so.

After Sentencing

Under current law, convicted felons, convicted sex offenders required to register with DPS, and offenders found not guilty of such sex offenses by reason of mental disease or defect must provide a DNA sample before they are released from prison or confinement or sentenced if their sentence does not include incarceration, as applicable. The bill limits this requirement to those offenders who did not provide a sample at the time of their arrest.

By law, offenders convicted of a criminal offense against a minor, nonviolent sexual offense, or sexually violent offense must register as a sex offender with DPS.

DESTROYING DNA SAMPLES

The bill expands the circumstances under which the DPS' Division of Scientific Services must expunge a DNA profile from the DNA data bank and requires the division to complete the expungement when the circumstances are present, rather than upon the offender's request. In addition to expunging a profile if a court reverses the criminal conviction or finding of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect that constituted grounds for collecting the sample, the bill requires the division to expunge it if an arrestee who provides a sample is acquitted or the charges against him or her are nolled or dismissed.

Likewise, the bill requires the State Police forensic laboratory to purge all records and identifiable information and destroy all samples submitted and included in its data bank upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order acquitting an accused of the charge against him or her or dismissing or nolling the charge that formed the basis for inclusion of the sample in the data bank. By law, the laboratory must purge records upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order reversing and dismissing the conviction or commitment.

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

HB 6538 (File 594) (1) allows the correction commissioner to use reasonable force to collect DNA samples, (2) requires people who must provide a sample to submit a second sample if the first one is not of sufficient quality, and (3) amends the law on disseminating information from the DNA databank.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

29

Nay

13

(04/06/2011)

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

44

Nay

10

(05/23/2011)