Schwarzenegger Endorses DNA Fingerprint Initiative
Newsmax | July 8 2004
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced his support for Proposition 69, the DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Protection Act, that establishes an all-felon DNA database for California.
The Republican Governor's support, in addition to Democratic State Attorney General Bill Lockyer, underscores the bipartisan support Proposition 69 enjoys.
"Governor Schwarzenegger is a champion for the people of California and we are thrilled to have his support for such a critical issue," said Bruce Harrington, the initiative's sponsor and campaign chairman. "California's current DNA database is too small and unable to deal with the thousands of unsolved rapes, murders and child abductions. Proposition 69 is the solution, giving public safety officials and defense attorneys a powerful new tool that will solve crimes and protect the innocent. Governor Schwarzenegger's endorsement is a huge benefit to the campaign, and we look forward to working with him and winning on Election Day."
Written by public safety experts, Proposition 69 is nonpartisan and endorsed by every major statewide law enforcement organization, district attorneys, sheriffs, police chiefs, crime scene investigators, victims' advocates, Republicans and Democrats. Proposition 69 requires convicted felons and those arrested for rape and murder to give DNA, collected by mouth swab, not blood, for a statewide database.
Starting in 2009, all felony arrestees will also be tested, but those not convicted can have their sample removed from the database. Taking DNA during the booking process at the same time as old-fashioned fingerprints and mug shots provides police a proven high tech suspect identification tool that results in accurate investigations. No wasted time chasing false leads, the 21st century DNA fingerprint provides proof-positive evidence of innocence or guilt. Not including California, 34 states across America already have all- felon DNA databases.
"Virginia has an all-felon DNA database including felony arrestees," California District Attorneys Association President Dave Paulson said.
"Virginia's population is less than Los Angeles County, but that state solves more crimes with DNA than California. Virginia reports that more than 80% of cold hits on the state's DNA database would have been missed if the database had been limited only to violent offenders. The early identification of repeat offenders is a proven result with a comprehensive all-felon DNA database."