Illinois Senate votes down bill to take DNA from all felony suspects


DAVE MCKINNEY and FRANK MAIN
Chicago Sun-Times
May 24, 2009

The Illinois Senate has narrowly voted down a plan to allow police to take DNA samples from felony arrest suspects.

[efoods]Advocates saw the measure as adding an important crime-fighting tool. But opponents viewed it as an intrusion upon civil liberties.

The bill, pushed by Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), drew just 28 votes after overwhelmingly passing the House last month.

Twenty-five senators voted against it, and three voted “present.” Thirty votes were needed for passage.

“It’s 25 years later, but we’re approaching George Orwell’s ‘1984’ right now,” said Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who opposed the proposal, saying it would have violated the due-process and equal-protection clauses of the Illinois Constitution.

“To have an officer come up to me without probable cause, arrest me and stick a swab in my mouth is against my constitutional rights,” Raoul said.

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