Kentucky May Collect DNA From Some Teens

The Kentucky Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a plan to broaden the state’s DNA database to include all adult and some juvenile felony offenders, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The state currently gathers DNA “only from adults who commit violent felony offenses, sex offenses or burglaries, and from youths 13 or older who commit sex offenses.” But the new measure, House Bill 289, proposes to expand this library to include all adults and juveniles who commit felonies, regardless of whether cases are prosecuted in juvenile or adult court. That would expand the annual intake from roughly 1,500 to 20,000. The Courier-Journal notes that “Gail Robinson, an assistant public advocate, spoke against DNA testing for all juveniles, saying youths who don’t commit serious offenses or violent crimes could be branded as serious offenders through the DNA collection.” Committee chairman Robert Stivers, a Republican, announced plans to introduce an amendment that will limit the DNA collection from juveniles before the bill goes to the full Senate.

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