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Indiana Officials Push For DNA Collection During Arrests
Updated November 7, 2016 6:09 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - A group of Indiana prosecutors, lawmakers and law enforcement officials are citing a recent homicide case as an example of how expanded DNA databases can help them corral suspects of violent crimes.

Damoine A. Wilcoxson is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of John Clements, 82, in Zionsville, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Both Indiana and Ohio had an opportunity to collect DNA from Wilcoxson during previous arrests, but only Ohio did because it routinely collects DNA samples from people arrested on felony charges, even if they aren't convicted.

"I think this case ... proves that crimes can be solved and communities can be made safer if those who are arrested, at the time of the arrest, provide a DNA sample," Boone County Prosecutor Todd Meyer said.

The DNA sample collected in Ohio helped police link Wilcoxson to the murder of Clements and two other attacks in October. Bullet fragments left at both scenes are believed to be from the same weapon, the states forensic investigators say. The discovery led to Wilcoxson's murder charge.

Indiana law only allows DNA samples entered into the federal database if suspects are convicted of a felony.

While DNA samples may help with cases such Wilcoxson's some citizens resist the idea of widespread government-maintained DNA database.

"The broader concern is what liberty does a person give up yearly by being arrested?" said Thomas Washburne, an Indiana state representative. "It encourages sloppy police work. You can arrest someone to get their DNA."

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