Pa. Senate OKs bill to expand DNA tests in crimes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A bill to require DNA testing of suspects accused of certain crimes in Pennsylvania is headed to the state House of Representatives for the second time in two years.

The Senate approved the bill sponsored by Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, voting 39-to-8 on Tuesday.

The House and Senate passed competing versions in 2011.

Current state law requires people who are convicted of serious felonies to submit to a DNA sample taken by cheek swab.

However, the bill would require DNA testing after an arrest is made, but prior to any conviction. It also would expand the list of offenses for which testing is required, including simple assault and trespassing.

The American Civil Liberties Union warns the bill could violate state constitutional protections against search and seizure.

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