News State’s Evidence
posted by February 26 at 16:45 PMon
No longer are DNA collections limited to felons; if this bill is passed, the state will be able to make people surrender DNA samples for crimes like prostitution.
However, when I originally reported on this bill—it’s now in the Senate—I failed to highlight some other misdemeanors that give the state the right to your code. These are the ones that the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers are antsy about: animal cruelty in the second degree; assault in the fourth degree; and violation of a court order.
Amy Muth, who co-chairs the defense lawyers’ legislative lobbying group, explains that assault in the fourth degree is the most common crime committed in the state and covers just about any fit of anger—throwing a soda pop at someone is an example of a fourth degree assault she once litigated.
The cost, she says, of getting DNA samples on every fourth degree assault charge would be enormous. (The fiscal note I saw says it would cost about $1.1 million per budget cycle.)
Animal cruelty in the second degree is negligence—like not feeding your pet or failing to provide safe shelter. And violating any court order? Well, that could cover just about anything.
There’s a Senate hearing on the bill this Thursday at 8am.
Seattle-area Reps. who co-sponsored the legislation are Rep. Phyllis Kenney (D-46, North Seattle) and Rep. Zach Hudgins (D-11, South Seattle). No Seattle-area senators have signed on.