Supreme Court allows taking DNA from suspects of serious crimes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Supreme Court allows taking DNA from suspects of serious crimes

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A ruling made Monday by the Supreme Court allows taking DNA samples from suspects arrested for serious crimes. 

Tennessee is one of the 28 states that make this a part of the booking process. 

Janice Atkinson with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says DNA swabs of persons arrested in connection with serious offenses and who are booked at the Hamilton County Jail are collected. 

She says the DNA samples are forwarded to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and placed in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) when a person is convicted of a violent crime. 

Atkinson says DNA collection is a very effective tool for law enforcement in their effort to save lives by reducing violent crimes and resolving open criminal investigations.

Read the entire law below:

TCA-40-35-321

(e)  (1) When a person is arrested on or after January 1, 2008, for the commission of a violent felony as defined in subdivision (e)(3), the person shall have a biological specimen taken for the purpose of DNA analysis to determine identification characteristics specific to the person as defined in subsection (a). After a determination by a magistrate or a grand jury that probable cause exists for the arrest, but prior to the person's release from custody, the arresting authority shall take the sample using a buccal swab collection kit for DNA testing. The biological specimen shall be collected by the arresting authority in accordance with the uniform procedures established by the Tennessee bureau of investigation, pursuant to § 38-6-113 and shall be forwarded by the arresting authority to the Tennessee bureau of investigation, which shall maintain the sample as provided in § 38-6-113. The court or magistrate shall make the provision of a specimen a condition of the person's release on bond or recognizance if bond or recognizance is granted.

(2) The clerk of the court in which the charges against a person described in subdivision (e)(1) are disposed of shall notify the Tennessee bureau of investigation of final disposition of the criminal proceedings. If the charge for which the sample was taken is dismissed or the defendant is acquitted at trial, then the bureau shall destroy the sample and all records of the sample; provided, that there is no other pending qualifying warrant or capias for an arrest or felony conviction that would otherwise require that the sample remain in the data bank.

(3) As used in this subsection (e), "violent felony" means:

      (A) First or second degree murder;

      (B) Aggravated kidnapping or especially aggravated kidnapping;

      (C) Aggravated assault;

      (D) Aggravated child abuse;

      (E) Robbery, aggravated robbery or especially aggravated robbery;

      (F) Aggravated burglary or especially aggravated burglary;

      (G) Carjacking;

      (H) Sexual battery, sexual battery by an authority figure or aggravated sexual battery;

      (I) Statutory rape by an authority figure or aggravated statutory rape;

      (J) Rape, aggravated rape, rape of a child or aggravated rape of a child;

      (K) Aggravated arson;

      (L) Attempt, under § 39-12-101, to commit any of the offenses enumerated in this subdivision (e)(3);

      (M) Solicitation, under § 39-12-102, to commit any of the offenses enumerated in this subdivision (e)(3);

      (N) Conspiracy, under § 39-12-103, to commit any of the offenses enumerated in this subdivision (e)(3);

      (O) Criminal responsibility, under § 39-11-402(2), for any of the offenses enumerated in this subdivision (e)(3);

      (P) Facilitating the commission, under § 39-11-403, of any of the offenses enumerated in this subdivision (e)(3);

      (Q) Being an accessory after the fact, under § 39-11-411, to any of the offenses enumerated in this subdivision (e)(3);

      (R) Aggravated vehicular homicide;

      (S) Criminally negligent homicide;

      (T) Reckless homicide;

      (U) Vehicular homicide; or

      (V) Voluntary manslaughter.

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