Panel OKs GJ legislator’s DNA bill

State lawmakers gave initial approval Thursday to legislation from Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, aimed at streamlining and clarifying Colorado’s DNA-preservation laws.

King’s proposal, House Bill 1121, removes misdemeanors from the crimes where police and sheriff’s departments must retain DNA evidence. The bill also allows defendants to ask that DNA evidence in their cases be tossed.

“This bill streamlines the existing process for a court to approve the disposal of DNA
evidence,” King said.

Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates and a series of other law enforcement representatives said
King’s bill would reinsert common sense into decisions on what to do with DNA evidence.

Oates said the bill streamlines the disposal of DNA evidence in cases where the identity of the perpetrators is not in question or when a plea bargain removes the chances of appeal.

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved King’s bill following an hour of testimony.

The bill could go before the full House as early as today.


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