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Brianna's Law: DNA Swabs Before A Conviction
Brianna's Law: DNA Swabs Before A Conviction

AIR DATE: June 3, 2011

In 2008, teenager Brianna Denison was kidnapped while she slept on a friend's couch.  They found her body in a field - she had been raped and killed.  The police arrested a Sparks pipefitter for the crime, who had also been convicted of two other rapes.  Now, Brianna's family says if police had been able to swab for DNA for those earlier crimes, they would have caught the rapist earlier - and maybe prevented Brianna's death.  The state assembly just passed a bill that would allow police to take DNA swabs after an arrest.  But opponents say that's labeling someone guilty before there's a conviction, and that it violates civil liberties.  Should police be allowed to collect DNA if a person is suspected - but not convicted - of a crime?  We talk to members of Brianna Denison's family, and experts who support and oppose the bill.
Jordan Denison, Brianna's cousin
Brighton Denison, Brianna's brother
Orrin Johnson, Washoe County Public Defender

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No, no not sign the law. Our government and politicians have failed us in so many ways how can any of them be trusted. What about neglect, corruption of the samples? What if someone frames you? what if your sample is lost? mislabeled? I mean, mistakes happen in hospitals all the time, what makes anyone think that the methods of collecting dna samples are fool proof...tread very carefully on this one...
challengerJun 2, 2011 19:01:14 PM
I don't have a problem with DNA sampling...I'd like to bring up the question of What if you are an identical twin. One twin is a law abiding person; the other, is a serial killer. What happens in this case?
Audrey HylandJun 2, 2011 09:51:03 AM
Is taking a DNA sample like taking a fingerprint?

Orrin Johnson, Washoe County Public Defender, says no, taking a DNA sample is different. And unconstitutional.

Chris Asplen, former director, DNA Unit for the National District Attorneys Association says 25 other states are allowing DNA samples to be taken from arrested--not yet convicted--felons.

Share your thoughts on this....should Gov Sandoval sign Brianna's law?

AdamJun 2, 2011 09:43:05 AM
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