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MADISON - Attorney General Van Hollen appeared today in the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Corrections, Insurance, Campaign Finance Reform, and Housing to testify in favor of a bill to improve the State's collection of biological specimens from convicted offenders.
"DNA analysis can lead to the identification and successful prosecution of offenders even in cases that are otherwise without leads. This bill can assist all of us in continuing to improve the data bank and strengthen crime fighting in this state," Attoney General J.B. Van Hollen said.
Senate Bill 631, drafted by Attorney General Van Hollen and introduced by Senators Lena Taylor, Cowles, Bies and Representative Tony Staskunas, would clarify that offenders are required to provide a specimen in all instances when a court is directed to order the offender to provide a specimen and that the obligation to provide a specimen is ongoing. In addition, it closes loopholes where offenders are required to give a sample, including those who were found not guilty be reason of mental defect. This bill also specifies that the current misdemeanor conviction for failure to provide a specimen includes the requirement to provide a specimen and creates a non-criminal process to obtain a court order to compel an offender no longer in custody to provide a specimen.
A copy of the proposed legislation is available at: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2009/data/SB-631.pdf
A copy of the Attorney General's letter to Secretary Raemisch describing obligations under current law, and Attorney General Van Hollen's written testimony, which contains additional detail about the bill can be found here: