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Study on Expansion of Oklahoma DNA Database is Set

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Yale University
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma lawmaker who has unsuccessfully worked to require persons accused of crimes to provide DNA samples plans to conduct a legislative study on the issue.

Defendants convicted of certain crimes in the state are already required to provide DNA samples to determine if they can be linked to unsolved crimes. Republican Representative Lee Denney of Cushing says she wants authorities to be able to secure DNA samples earlier in the process.

Denney says she was inspired by the case of Juli Busken, a University of Oklahoma student from Benton, Arkansas, whose 1996 rape and murder went unsolved for eight years.

Previous attempts to require DNA samples from those merely accused of crimes were soundly defeated by lawmakers concerned about the constitutionality of targeting suspects who have not been convicted.