Skip to main content

Pileggi's legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania's DNA laws approved by Senate

06/25/2013 05:40PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, News


A bill strengthening and modernizing Pennsylvania's use of DNA technology to fight violent crime, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9), was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate.

"This bill will make dramatic improvements in how Pennsylvania uses DNA technology to fight crime, to get violent criminals off our streets, and to make our communities safer," Senator Pileggi said. "The evidence is clear, in study after study and case after case: Post-arrest DNA collection saves lives."

Senate Bill 150 will require individuals arrested for serious crimes to submit DNA samples. In addition, the bill establishes privacy protections, an expungement process and new quality controls. It also authorizes a new type of DNA search to help identify suspects in unsolved crimes.

"DNA science has advanced dramatically in the two decades since Pennsylvania's DNA Database was created," Senator Pileggi said. "Since then, the federal government and more than half of the states have improved their DNA collection policies. Pennsylvania has not. It's time for us to take this step."

Senator Pileggi's legislation will:

 

* Require post-arrest DNA samples from those arrested for serious offenses;

 

* Explicitly prohibit DNA samples from being used for anything other than legitimate law enforcement identification purposes;

 

* Establish an expungement process for the DNA records of exonerated individuals;

 

* Codify accreditation requirements for forensic DNA testing laboratories;

 

* Require continuing education for forensic DNA testing personnel; and

 

* Authorize the state police to use modified DNA searches to help investigators identify unknown DNA profiles taken at crime scenes.

Senator Pileggi pointed to studies across the country - including Chicago, Denver and Maryland, all of which were cited by the United State Supreme Court in its recent Maryland v. King decision - showing how effective post-arrest DNA samples can be.   

"We also have tragic examples right here in Pennsylvania of how this law will save lives," Senator Pileggi said. He cited the case of the killer known as the Kensington Strangler, who was arrested on felony drug charges in June 2010 - but no DNA sample was taken.

"Later that year, three women were found raped and strangled to death. Numerous others were sexually assaulted but managed to escape their attacker," Senator Pileggi said. "Philadelphia police spent thousands of hours working to solve the case."

Many months later, the man pled guilty to the felony drug charge and - because Pennsylvania's current law does require post-conviction DNA samples - his DNA was collected. When it was processed, investigators found the match they were looking for. Since then, the man has been convicted of the three murders and numerous other crimes. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.

"It's a needless tragedy that so many of his crimes could have been prevented - if Pennsylvania had this law in place," Senator Pileggi said.

Senate Bill 150 is supported by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the Pennsylvania State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, and the national organization DNA Saves.

The legislation now moves to the House for consideration.



senate dominic pileggi


You might also like

Pileggi announces museum grants

Dominic Pileggi last week announced that $76,130 in state grants have been awarded to museums in Chester County and Delaware County.

Stop the discrimination against special education students

Stop the discrimination against special education students

Sen. Tartaglione says PA minimum wage should be $10.10 per hour

State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione said that she will replace her proposal to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $9 an hour with a new bill that would increase it to $10.10 by 2016.

  • Terminator, the Second

    10/02/2014
    07:30pm

    The story of a boy and his cyborg protector completed entirely in lines and phrases taken from th...


  • Terminator, the Second

    10/03/2014
    08:00pm

    The story of a boy and his cyborg protector completed entirely in lines and phrases taken from th...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    10/04/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • Fix-up Day and Celebration

    10/04/2014
    10:00am — 03:00pm

    Let's make it a special day for the residents of Luther House! Join the Jennersville YMCA Togeth...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    10/04/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Applepalooza

    10/04/2014
    02:00pm — 07:00pm

    You love apples. You know that we love apples. So join us and celebrate our mutual love at North...


  • Terminator, the Second

    10/04/2014
    08:00pm

    The story of a boy and his cyborg protector completed entirely in lines and phrases taken from th...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Wednesdays 9:30-10:15am, September 10-November 5 Spend the morning with your Mini Mountain i...


  • Zen Group Startup

    10/01/2014
    05:00pm — 06:00pm

    Find out for yourself why people have respected Zen for thousands of years. One hour introductio...


  • Terminator, the Second

    10/02/2014
    07:30pm

    The story of a boy and his cyborg protector completed entirely in lines and phrases taken from th...


  • Terminator, the Second

    10/03/2014
    08:00pm

    The story of a boy and his cyborg protector completed entirely in lines and phrases taken from th...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    10/04/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • Fix-up Day and Celebration

    10/04/2014
    10:00am — 03:00pm

    Let's make it a special day for the residents of Luther House! Join the Jennersville YMCA Togeth...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    10/04/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • Applepalooza

    10/04/2014
    02:00pm — 07:00pm

    You love apples. You know that we love apples. So join us and celebrate our mutual love at North...


Chester County High School Sports