This is just nothing but grandstanding, in our opinion. If he really wanted to help put a dent in crime, he'd get the DNA of ALL ex-felons and even all citizens, from birth. Then if a crime is committed where DNA is available, they can test it, then find the person.
By John S. Adams
HELENA — Attorney General Tim Fox urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to move a bill aimed at cracking down on sexual and violent offenders who move to Montana from other states.
Fox, along with representatives from the state crime lab and law enforcement and local prosecutor groups, testified in favor of the measure, which would require sexual or violent offenders who move to Montana to submit a DNA sample to a state DNA database.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Cliff Larsen, D-Missoula, said current laws contain a “loophole” that leaves crimes unsolved.
“When a sexual or violent offender from another state is released from supervision, that offender is able to move to Montana and register as a sexual or violent offender, but that offender does not have to provide a DNA sample to be entered into the state database,” Larsen said. “This loophole affects public safety in that only by having these DNA profiles in the Montana state DNA database can many heinous unsolved cases be solved and can future crimes be prevented.”
Montana is one of four states that doesn’t require such sampling.
Fox said without the new legislation in place, law enforcement officers may be unable to solve many of the cold cases that are in the Montana state DNA database.
Fox said DNA sampling has lead to arrests in convictions in other states. He cited an example from Wyoming, in which authorities solved a 1990 rape case after a registered violent offender submitted a DNA sample to Wyoming’s state DNA database.
Fox said the victim was sleeping with her young child in bed at home when she was assaulted and raped at knife point. Investigators developed a DNA profile of the perpetrator based on biological evidence from the crime. The perpetrator was imprisoned in another state for an offense which, at the time, did not require a DNA sample be submitted for database storage. When the perpetrator was released from prison, he moved back to Wyoming, where he was required to submit a DNA sample when he registered as a sexual offender. When authorities entered the DNA profile into the database, it connected him to the 1990 rape case.
“This common-sense change not only gets Montana up to speed with most other states, but may lead law enforcement and prosecutors to criminals who should be in prison for unsolved crimes and prevent them from committing future harm against our children or other members of society,” Fox said.
No opponents testified against the measure Monday. The bill is expected to clear the committee later this week.