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As part of efforts to enhance the state’s DNA data bank, a proposed amendment to one of Connecticut’s trial and post-conviction statutes could expand the list of felony offenses for which convicts are required to submit blood samples prior to their release from prison. The proposed amendment to Connecticut General Statute � 54-102g, requiring blood samples from certain sexual offenders for DNA analysis, would add persons convicted of murder, manslaughter, felony assault, robbery, kidnapping and burglary to the list of felony offenders who must submit blood samples to a statewide DNA data bank. “This step is really to get the focus on the most violent convictions,” Cronan said of Connecticut’s proposed amendment. “We’re advanced in DNA technology … with one of the premiere forensic labs in the country. But we are capable of doing far more with what they have down there [in Meriden].” In addition, a separate bill also introduced in the Legislature would create a DNA Data Bank Panel that would, among other things, oversee the handling of DNA samples for the bank, and tackle legal issues relating to the authorization of DNA samples and maintenance of the data bank. According to the proposed legislation, an oversight panel consisting of representatives from the chief state’s attorney’s office, the attorney general’s office, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Correction would work together to help implement and maintain the databank’s expansion. The oversight panel would also meet quarterly and keep records of its meetings, with Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey serving as chairman. Bailey could not be reached for comment. Cronan said although an ad hoc committee has been in existence for a few years working with the data bank issues, members of his office were concerned that the group have the statutory authority to make decisions concerning the preservation of certain DNA evidence, and other related issues. According to Maj. Timothy Palmbach, an attorney and commanding officer of Connecticut’s Department of Public Safety’s Division of Scientific Services, the legislation calls for a “significant expansion” of the state’s DNA data bank. Palmbach said Connecticut was currently behind other states that have enacted such legislation. “Connecticut is one of the smallest and least inclusive states,” Palmbach said. “Our legislation base is more restricted.” Palmbach said although such legislation would also require more laboratory resources and other financial backing, it was the “right thing to do” for the state.

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