Maryland House Bill Seeks To Prohibit Using Familial DNA Databases To Solve Crime

After police used a new technique to arrest a man suspected of being the Golden State Killer, a Maryland legislator proposed a law that would prohibit use of a familial DNA database for the purpose of crime-solving.

House bill 30, sponsored by Delegate Charles Sydnor, D-Baltimore County, seeks to prohibit searches of consumer genealogical databases for the purpose of identifying an offender in connection with a crime through their biological relative's DNA samples.

In 1994, the state enacted the Maryland DNA Collection Act, which authorized the gathering of DNA for an official investigation of a crime, to identify human remains, and to identify missing persons, among other purposes.

In 2008, Chapter 337 amended the Collection Act to allow the state to gather and retain DNA from people arrested for burglary or violent crimes at the time of their arrest.

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