Our Friday editorial gave the Wichita Police Department points for openness for its belated incineration this week of the 1,300 DNA swabs taken in the BTK investigation — the second-largest DNA sweep in the nation, after Miami’s 1994 swabbing of 2,300 men. Like the vast majority of such sweeps, this one didn’t catch the killer; police used other methods to finger Dennis Rader as the serial killer. And such DNA swab-athons continue to raise privacy, profiling and cost-effectiveness concerns. Meanwhile, Kansas has joined six other states in requiring all suspects arrested for felony crimes (eventually including DUIs) to have their DNA samples taken and entered into a database. As our editorial noted, “the records of suspects will remain in the database, even if the charges are dismissed or the person is acquitted. Those who cherish civil liberties should be uneasy about treating the DNA profiles of the innocent no differently from those of the guilty.”
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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