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Ruud introduces arrestee DNA collection legislation

State Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, was joined by family members of violent crime victims to announce legislation that would allow for the collection of DNA from individuals arrested for certain felonies.

State Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, was joined by family members of violent crime victims to announce legislation that would allow for the collection of DNA from individuals arrested for certain felonies.

"This legislation will solve crimes, prevent crimes and exonerate the innocent. DNA collection in felony arrests has been proven to help law enforcement officials identify violent criminals and keep them off the streets to prevent more innocent people from being harmed," Ruud said.

Responding to privacy concerns, she added, "The information taken from individuals is like a fingerprint. Forensic DNA profiles contain only what is needed to identify an individual and do not reveal genetic traits or private information."

"Twenty-eight states currently allow for the collection of DNA during a felony arrest," said Jayann Sepich, mother of Katie Sepich and founder of DNA Saves, a nonprofit organization that educates policy makers and the public on the value of forensic DNA. "If my home state of New Mexico had this legislation at the time of my daughter's murder, her killer could have been identified three years sooner."

Linda Walker of Pequot Lakes, mother of murder victim Dru Sjodin, a Pequot Lakes High School graduate, added, "This is not an invasive procedure in any way. This is a simple cotton swab to the mouth, which will identify the most violent criminals in our state. It makes sense."

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S.F. 880 is authored by Ruud in the Senate and was introduced in the House by Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center.

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