State lawmakers consider expanding DNA collection

Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton is in favor of the new legislation.

Michigan lawmakers want to expand the collection of DNA samples to include people arrested on suspicion of a felony charge. The U.S. Supreme Court has already given the green light but some Michiganders say, proceed with caution.

A swab of the cheek can be the key to unlocking a criminal case.

â??Itâ??s a great help for those of us in law enforcement to have DNA evidence,â?? says David Leyton, prosecuting attorney for Genesee County.

Michigan lawmakers may give law enforcement the help they need as the state senate considers expanding when police can collect DNA.

â??Weâ??ve sold numerous cases using DNA,â?? says Leyton.

â??We all need to pay attention and be concerned,â?? says Jodi Hemingway, a Flint-based criminal defense lawyer.

The bill would allow police to take a sample from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony.

Opponents say it's another example of big brother watching you.

â??It does happen that people are arrested and ultimately their charges are dismissed,â?? says Hemingway.

Flint neighbors say collecting DNA is taking it a step too far.

â??(Collecting DNA) Make(s) you feel guilty, make(s) you feel like a bad guy,â?? says Jeff Tiner, a Flint resident.

â??Iâ??m kind of leery of that because I feel like you should go through the process of going downtown and going through that process before they just get you on the spot,â?? says Anthony Pitts of Flint.

Michiganders may not like the idea but if approved, the legislation could be clear of any legal challenges.

â??My take is that if that's the type of law being considered here in Michigan now, that it's going to pass constitutional muster,â?? says Hemingway.

â??If the state of Michigan enacts a law, it will be constitutional,â?? says Leyton.