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Kentucky Advocate Wants DNA Samples Taken from Those Arrested for Felony Crimes

J. Tyler Franklin

As the Kentucky General Assembly gavels into session on Tuesday, an advocate is encouraging lawmakers to pass legislation that could help sexual assault victims find justice. 

Gretchen Hunt heads the Office of Victims Advocacy in the state Attorney General’s Office. 

She says Kentucky law enforcement should be taking DNA samples from suspects arrested for committing felony offenses.

Hunt points out Kentucky currently only takes DNA from convicted felons. 

“There’s a lot of research and evidence showing that if we had that ability to basically do a swab of an individual, the same way we do a fingerprint check upon arrest, they would match other cases, and we would solve many of these rapes and homicides and violent crimes early in the process.”

Similar legislation filed the past two legislative sessions has failed to clear the Kentucky House and Senate. 

The greatest obstacle this year could be finding the money to expand DNA testing in a year when lawmakers must write a new budget and find additional funds for the state pension system.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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