Posted: Feb 4, 2013 8:29 PM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News
HELENA - The Montana Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony for a bill that would require a sex offender that registers in the state of Montana to give a DNA sample.
The bill, SB 213, was requested by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and is sponsored by MT State Senator Cliff Larsen (D-Missoula).
There was also support among Montana prosecutors and law enforcement officials.
The DNA database manager from the Montana State Crime Lab, Megan Ashton, said that if passed, the bill would initially increase the number of samples for registered offenders by 2,000 and then by about 400 more a year after that.
"This common sense change not only gets Montana up to speed with the laws of most states, but it may lead law enforcement and prosecutors to criminals who should be in prison for unsolved crimes and prevent them from committing future harm against our children or other members of society," said Fox.
Montana is in the company of Colorado, Wisconsin, and Idaho as the only states that do not require offenders who register in their state to give DNA samples.
There was no opposition present for Monday's hearing, and the committee has not yet taken action on the bill.