If you’re arrested in Colorado and charged with a felony, law-enforcement officials are now allowed to take a sample of your DNA thanks to provisions of “Katie’s Law”—named for New Mexico murder victim Katie Sepich—which expand police powers to crack cold cases (via Denver Daily News). Previously, a person had to be convicted of a felony in order to be forced to provide a sample.
While supporters of the law, such as state Senator John Morse, say it will “ensure that criminals are brought to justice,” opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, consider it an “assault” on constitutional guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures. The ACLU believes the law violates the rights of arrestees who should be considered innocent, points out KUNC radio.
Cheek swabs will be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for testing and then added to a state database, but those who are not charged within 90 days of a swabbing may ask to have their DNA be removed from the database, according to CBS4.