DNA Samples Before Conviction?

David Williams sent out the following media release, which I pass along as interesting information. I still need to think more carefully about this issue before reaching a definitive opinion, but the default position is that collecting people’s DNA before they have been convicted of any crime is pretty scary territory. (Note that I do not endorse the Libertarian Party.)

Backlash against costly government DNA database builds

March 16, 2009 Denver — Colorado Senate Bill 09-241, which would mandate the use of government force to take DNA samples from innocent citizens, made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 5-1 margin on March 11, 2009. A wide range of groups have joined together to fight this un-American bill, which would cost taxpayers over $1.7 million to implement.

The Libertarian Party of Colorado, the Colorado ACLU, the Gadsden Society, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Colorado Public Defenders Office, among others, all oppose this costly Orwellian expansion of government power over innocent Americans.

David K. Williams, Jr., Legislative Director for the Libertarian Party and President of the Gadsden Society is among those against the bill.

“The backers of this bill claim it will help law enforcement. Undoubtedly it would,” Williams said. “So would the repeal of the Fourth Amendment. So would micro chipping newborns so the government knows where they are all at times, from cradle to grave. So would putting video cameras in every house.

“The point is that helping law enforcement is not the only concern Americans should have. Protecting the Constitution and preventing government abuse of power should also be a concern of all Americans.”

The next stop for the bill is the Senate Appropriations Committee, where a hearing date has not yet been set. If the Appropriations Committee decides it is a good idea to spend $1.7 million of taxpayer money to implement the proposed DNA database, the bill would move to the floor of the Senate for debate.

Senator Morgan Carroll (D – Aurora) was the lone “no” vote in the Judiciary Committee.


SB 09-241 language

SB 09-241 Fiscal Impact note

SB 09-241 Senate Judiciary Committee Roll Call vote

About the Gadsden Society

The Gadsden Society is a non-partisan public advocacy group, fighting for the preservation and expansion of individual liberty throughout Colorado. The Gadsden Society monitors bills pending in the state legislature and advocates on behalf of legislation that expands individual liberty and opposes legislation that contracts individual liberty.

Contact information

David K. Williams, Jr.
President, The Gadsden Society