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18 December 15

FBI Director says Hatch's DNA Bill will “Change the World”

FBI Director James Comey last week praised a bill introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as a "very exciting" tool that will enable law enforcement officials to obtain results from DNA samples in criminal investigations. The endorsement came during a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Senator Hatch is a former chairman and current member.

Hatch's bill, the Rapid DNA Act of 2015, updates current law to allow DNA samples to be processed using Rapid DNA instruments located in booking stations and other approved locations. Rapid DNA instruments are self-contained, fully automated devices that can develop a reference sample profile from a minimally invasive cheek swab and compare the results against existing profiles in less than two hours. The Rapid DNA Act will enable law enforcement officials to more speedily obtain results to inform decisions about whether an individual in custody should be held or released. The bill further provides that Rapid DNA instruments must be operated in accordance with standards and procedures issued by the FBI in order to ensure the integrity of such instruments and the accuracy of results.

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