Regional
12:45 pm
Sun March 13, 2011

Changes To DNA Testing Bill

New Mexico – The Senate has approved a proposal for DNA testing of anyone charged with a felony, but Democrats added what they say are civil liberty protections.

Republicans contend the changes hurt the measure. One change allows DNA samples only after a judge finds there is probable cause for a person's felony arrest. Another provision allows people to have information about a wrongful arrest or conviction expunged from governmental records. The changes were adopted on mostly party-line votes, with Republicans opposing them.

The measure passed the Senate on a 38-3 vote Saturday. Republicans say they hope the House will reject the Senate changes.

The bill proposes to expand DNA testing under what's called "Katie's Law" in memory of Kathryn Sepich, a New Mexico State University student murdered in 2003.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.