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

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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2009

Sen. Jonathan Nichols
Sen. Jonathan Nichols

Senate Approves Bill to Expand DNA Database

A bill that could help Oklahoma law enforcement solve numerous cold cases, including homicides and sexual assaults, is one step closer to becoming law. Senate Bill 1102 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 bill, by Sen. Jonathan Nichols, R-Norman, was approved by the full Senate on Wednesday.

“A few years ago we added all those convicted of felony crimes to the DNA database, and as a direct result, the 1996 murder of OU ballet student Julie Buskin was solved,” Nichols said. “That case had gone cold until they found a DNA match with someone who had been arrested for a completely unrelated crime. Without that DNA sample, it’s likely the killer would never have been brought to justice.”

Nichols, a former prosecutor, said under SB 1102, only those actually convicted of the designated crimes would be required to submit a DNA sample. Those crimes would include 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.

“Again, this law would only apply to those who had been convicted of an actual crime. At that point they’ve already been photographed and fingerprinted,” Nichols said. “They risked giving up some of their privacy the moment they decided to break the law. This legislation does not infringe on the right or the privacy of any law-abiding citizen. It does give us another tool for solving some of the most heinous crimes imaginable.”

The next stop for SB 1102 is the House of Representatives.

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

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