Nevada Senate Committee Approves Brianna's Law - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevada Senate Committee Approves Brianna's Law

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The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a measure to collect DNA from anyone arrested on felony charges at the time of arrest.

SB243 is also known as "Brianna's Law," named after Brianna Denison who was murdered in early 2008. A similar measure failed in 2011.

The bill advanced Thursday allows DNA to be collected from suspects when they are arrested on felony charges. That material is then used to cross-reference DNA evidence from other unsolved crimes.

If the charges are dismissed or resolved, or if no felony charges are filed within five years, a person can request their DNA be destroyed and profile removed from the system.

Brianna's mother believes James Biela's criminal record may have led to his arrest before her daughter was killed if his DNA had been collected.

An amendment to have DNA automatically removed and only collected for violent felonies did not garner support from the committee.

The bill is sponsored by State Senator Debbie Smith. "I feel this bill is about public safety and justice and it can help solve crime. It can get dangerous people off the street and exonerate the wrongfully convicted."

But - the bill also raises concerns about civil rights. "Currently it reads that DNA taken from felony arrests, I think that should be changed to violent felonies, or felonies of a sexual nature," says Steve Yeager.

"We as a country and a state have to decide if there's a diminished expectation of privacy when you are arrested. We believe there is not, but that you are innocent until proven guilty."

Testing prices could range from $2 an arrest to $75. If the bill is approved, they plan to pass that cost on to those tested

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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