Two Seattle city council members, Lorena González and Pete Holmes, have introduced legislation that will allow DNA samples taken in sexual assault and/or domestic violence convictions to be uploaded and shared to CODIS, which is the federal Combined DNA Index System. Both council members say that this is a huge step in helping solve cold cases and in preventing future crimes from being committed.
State and City Dispute
The City of Seattle began collecting DNA samples from those individuals convicted of sexual assault or domestic violence in 2008, but in 2014 the State Crime Lab stopped testing the samples because they said they would only accept and test samples from municipals that had incorporated state laws into their municipal code.
Eight misdemeanor crimes needed to be the equivalent of state crimes. These misdemeanors included crimes such as harassment, indecent exposure, sexual assault in the fourth degree, and contacting a minor with immoral intentions. Holmes believes these misdemeanors indicate that someone could potentially commit more serious crimes.
As a result of the fight between the City of Seattle and the State Crime Lab over these misdemeanors, over 650 DNA samples have been sitting frozen at the Lab. Now they might be tested and then uploaded to CODIS if the city legislation is approved. Pete Holmes hopes that this will help solve other cases that have been dead ends for years. As an example, he cited the Snohomish County man who was sentenced to life last month for the killings of a Canadian couple back in the 1980s. DNA samples from that case linked the man to the crime scenes.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union released a statement in opposition to involuntary DNA collections, “Little evidence exists that involuntary collection of DNA is increasing our ability to solve crimes. Furthermore, collecting and storing DNA raises privacy concerns and presents significant risks of misuse which will be experienced disproportionately by people of color due to persistent racial bias in our criminal justice system.”
Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Seattle
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Seattle, you need a strong defense to prevent you from being convicted and having your DNA collected without your permission. Call the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today at 206-621-8777 or fill out a contact form to get a free consultation of your case started.