Connecticut bill allows DNA testing in felony arrests

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HARTFORD — Certain crime suspects facing a serious felony charge could be required to provide a DNA sample under a bill that is moving through the General Assembly.

The House of Representatives voted 131-14 on Friday in favor of the legislation, which proponents said will help track down dangerous criminals while freeing innocent people from prison. The bill now awaits Senate action.

Under the proposal, a DNA sample is taken after a suspect has been arraigned and the court finds there is probable cause to believe that person committed a serious felony.

New London Rep. Ernest Hewett said the sample would be used for identification, just like fingerprints and mug shots.

But New Haven Rep. Robyn Porter said she worries about DNA information being collected before a conviction and possibly abused.

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