Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: February 18, 2009

Sen. Nichols Wins Passage of Bill to Expand DNA Database

Expanding the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s (OSBI) DNA database could help solve some of the most horrific crimes committed—that’s according to State Sen. Jonathan Nichols, author of Senate Bill 1102. The measure would add a number of misdemeanor crimes to the felony crimes already on the books which can result in the harvesting of DNA samples. The measure was approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

“We’re talking about people who have been charged and convicted of misdemeanor criminal acts like peeping toms,” said Nichols, R-Norman. “We know for a fact that cold cases are often solved through DNA, and the perpetrator’s DNA may be in the system because of an entirely unrelated crime.”

Nichols, a former prosecutor, reminded the committee that was exactly how the 1996 murder of University of Oklahoma ballet student Julie Buskin was ultimately solved.

“This gives us an even greater opportunity to capture and punish individuals responsible for some of the most heinous crimes imaginable.”

Nichols stressed that unlike other proposed legislation requiring DNA collection upon arrest, under SB 1102, only those convicted would be required to submit a DNA sample. His measure would include those convicted of misdemeanor crimes such as outraging public decency; resisting arrest; escape or attempting to escape; eluding a police officer; peeping tom; pointing a firearm; unlawfully carrying or discharging of a weapon; illegal transporting; negligent homicide; causing a personal accident while driving under the influence; unlawful discharge of a weapon; destruction of property or threatening an act of violence.

“Those convicted of such crimes will have already submitted to fingerprinting, this simply adds the collection of a DNA sample,” Nichols said. “This in no way intrudes on the lives of law-abiding citizens, and it will help us do a better job of protecting innocent Oklahomans.”

For more information contact:
Sen. Nichols' Office: 405-521-5535