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Federal DNA database of anyone detained by police advances in Senate

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: FYI re DNA database
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 12:31:23 -0500
From: Chip Pitts <chip.pitts@att.net>
To: <declan@well.com>

-----Original Message-----

Violence Against Women Act Passes Senate Judiciary Committee With

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a mark-up of the Violence Against
Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization today. The bill, which expires on
September 30, passed out of committee, but an amendment was added that
could prevent or delay its passage by the full Senate.

The amendment, introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), on behalf of
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), would create a national registry of DNA taken
from any person who has been detained by the police, even if the person
is not arrested or convicted. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) tried to
include a secondary amendment to link the DNA index only to violent
felonies, but it was defeated on a straight party-line vote.

Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), the primary sponsor of VAWA in the Senate,
said that he feared the DNA amendment could cause a firestorm on the
Senate floor that would delay passage of VAWA. Senator Patrick Leahy
(D-VT) said that he feared it was a poison pill. Senator Leahy said that
he is worried that whole classes of people, such as Latinos or Muslims,
will be rounded up and their DNA will be recorded in the registry.
Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), chair of the Judiciary Committee, and
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pledged to try to work out a compromise on the
amendment before the bill reaches the floor, which is expected before
the end of the month.

Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, and Kim Gandy,
president of the National Organization for Women, attended the mark-up,
as did many women, to show their support for passage of VAWA. Legal
Momentum, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the
Sheila Wellstone Institute have also been working extremely hard to pass
the bill.

Media Resources: Feminist Majority

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Sep 10, 2005 in category privacy

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