DNA sampling bill on Sanford's desk

A bill that would allow law enforcement officials to collect some suspects' DNA at the time of arrest is now on Gov. Mark Sanford's desk. Several local law enforcement officials are backing the bill. Sanford vetoed the bill last year, citing privacy concerns, and the House upheld the veto. The Legislature had vowed to bring it back this year, though, and now it's back in the governor's office. It doesn't seem that Sanford has taken any position on the bill at this point.

"That is a necessary next step; it is time to do that," North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt said.

Zumalt, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen and other top Charleston County officials have been working with the Legislature since August 2006 on a variety of crime-fighting measures. They view the DNA bill as the year's biggest victory.

Mullen said DNA sampling will have the same impact fingerprints had years ago.

"That was a revolutionary change in law enforcement," he said.

As The State reported back in May, the bill would only apply to those accused of a felony or facing stalking or peeping charges.

Also, as Live 5 News writes, the bill would allow prisoners to request a DNA test in an attempt to prove their innocence.

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