Missouri Senate initially OKs amendment allowing collection of criminal's DNA

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | 2:11 p.m. CST; updated 3:22 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 17, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Senators have given initial approval to a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing that Missouri can collect DNA samples from criminals.

Missouri takes DNA from people as they leave prison and from those 17 and older who are arrested on suspicion of violent felonies, sex offenses or burglary. The proposed constitutional amendment is to ensure DNA samples continue to be taken.

At issue is a state constitutional provision that bars "retrospective" laws that apply new restrictions or duties because of past actions. That prohibition has led the state Supreme Court to invalidate some sex offender restrictions.

Local prosecutors fear a similar ruling on the DNA sampling program could invalidate numerous criminal convictions.

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