Oklahoma City, OK 73105
The State Senate has given overwhelming approval to
a measure expanding the state’s DNA database to include samples
from all convicted felons. Senate Bill 646, by Sen. Jonathan Nichols,
R-Norman, was approved 42-3 on Wednesday.
“This legislation can lead to solving some of the most heinous,
unsolved crimes on the book,” said Nichols, a former Cleveland
County prosecutor. “We’re talking about murders, rapes
and child molestation cases that we’ve been unable to solve
to this date.” Rep. Fred Morgan, R-OKC, co-author of SB 646,
has also led the effort on this crime-fighting measure.
“There are crime victims across the state still waiting for
justice—this measure can help us give them the justice they
deserve. I’m optimistic the House will join the Senate in
passing this important bill,” Morgan said.
Senate Bill 646 was originally requested by the Oklahoma State Bureau
of Investigation (OSBI.) When the database was originally begun
it only included those convicted of sex offenses. Since that time
other crimes have been added helping them solve more crimes.
“By adding DNA samples from categories we haven’t included
in the past, we’re greatly increasing our chances of solving
cold cases. DNA is what finally helped identify a suspect in the
1996 murder of Juli Buskin,” Nichols explained.
The suspect in the murder of the University of Oklahoma ballet student
had been incarcerated on a second degree burglary charge but law
enforcement officials searching the DNA database matched his samples
to those from the Buskin murder.
Nichols said if signed into law, this would be applicable to anyone
convicted of a felony, including those currently incarcerated on
“When investigators can match a suspect’s DNA to one
crime, it often helps them solve many additional crimes—especially
in cases of rape and child molestation,” Morgan said. “The
sooner we can identify those responsible, the sooner we can get
them behind bars where they can no longer prey on the innocent.”
Rep. Morgan said once the House approves SB 646 the next stop will
be Gov. Brad Henry’s desk.
For more information contact:
President Pro Tem's Office- (405) 521-5605