INDIANA (www.incnow.tv) --- Police in Indiana will not be able to take advantage of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling granting law enforcement new powers to collect evidence from criminal suspects.
The new police powers have to do with taking DNA samples from people, not convicted, but simply arrested of certain serious crimes.
In a five to four decision, the high court said police have the right to swab the inside of the cheek when making an arrest for crimes such as burglary, sexual assault or murder.
Then they can run the sample against others stored in a national database, trying to get a "hit" on unsolved crimes.
Here's the rub: the only states that can take the samples are ones with laws in place permitting the new form of DNA collection.
State Senator Tom Wyss from Fort Wayne this year proposed such a bill for Indiana, but it was shot down.
Allen County's sheriff sees great potential for the practice on a national level.
" We will see how it grows and get legs, and I think in the next two to five years, when we see how effective it has been, where we have some major crimes that get solved because of it. I think people are going to understand that it was probably a good thing to have happen," said Sheriff Ken Fries.
But again, the DNA collection won't be happening in Indiana, at least not for now.
The Wyss bill was defeated in the state senate, with help from votes by area Senators David Long, Jim Banks, and Travis Holdman.
Long, President Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate, says many of the opponents believed that the need to protect personal freedoms and constitutional rights trumped the crime solving benefits.
But he concedes, in light of the Supreme Court decision, the legislature may now re-visit the issue.
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