Elizabeth E George

Hands Up!

In articles, Editorial, Features, Health and Humanity, News, Opinion, Uncategorized on May 5, 2012 at 4:53 am

by Elizabeth E. George

A new “clause” (to tread so lightly) was passed in July 2011 (effective October 2011) by the State of Connecticut, requiring all persons convicted of felonies and some misdemeanors to be swabbed for DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).  The DNA collection bank (so to say) is said to be for the purpose of collecting samples for “analysis to determine identification characteristics specific to the person,” [sic] as is specifically cited from official Connecticut Judicial Branch documents.

A little bit more than a fingerprint, eh?

First of all — what does that really mean?

Certain persons convicted of crimes in Connecticut will have their full DNA available for “analysis,” in the case that crimes which may arise can be handled more conclusively. Cutting out all of the formalities, it makes crimes easier to solve, because of the increased accessibility to DNA samples. On the up side, samples could be used to identify those who haven’t committed the crime under investigation.

But, wait…

It could also be seen as too much Big Brother with the preconceived notion “once a criminal, always a criminal.” It may be easy for one to say that Connecticut has an increased means of profiling certain people now.

How, you say? And, who?

People who have be convicted of certain misdemeanors.

But, say what? Misdemeanors?

When Bill No. 6489 passed in October of last year, it seemingly only pertained to felonies. The Connecticut General Statutes (Section 54-102g), however, contain a clause to include persons convicted of any Class D felony (with Sexual Offenders inclusive) and “other specific crimes” (including certain misdemeanors) such as a first conviction of DUI, CT General Statute 14-227a (21 and up) or 14-227g (for minors), within ten years of an arrest (not necessarily a conviction) for the same offense.

This requirement may also apply to persons under the age of 21 who are convicted of committing the same crime.

Other crimes that fall under this category are specific to certain circumstances, such as: repeat offenses or arrests, refusals to abide by certain aspects of the law at the time of an arrest or a conviction, a duration of under ten years, or for other specific instances.

Anyone refusing to submit a DNA sample under the new statutes will be convicted a of Class D Felony and risk a sentence of up to 5 years in prison as well as $5,000 in fines. Prior to latest revisions, a refusal would have only resulted in a conviction of a Class A misdemeanor.

However, persons falling under this new law are allowed to also submit a written request for a copy of submitted samples.

There is surely more to come, as this story progresses and Connecticut State Laws are currently in the midst of change…





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