OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation that would require more than 30,000 violent criminals to provide a DNA sample for a state database was approved today by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
           Senate Bill 1102, by state Sen. Jonathon Nichols and state Rep. Randy Terrill, would expand existing law requiring DNA samples to include individuals convicted of certain violent misdemeanor crimes as well as illegal aliens upon arrest for any crime.
            “DNA is an important tool that could allow police to identify suspects in numerous cases,” said state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore. “Criminals don’t usually confine themselves to one type of crime. By casting a wider DNA net, I believe we will quickly identify individuals who have committed numerous crimes that remain unsolved.”
            “DNA evidence was crucial to identifying the killer of OU student Juli Buskin,” said state Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing. “By enacting this law, we will be able to solve similar crimes and provide closure to other families like the Buskins.”
            DNA evidence led officials to a suspect in the 1996 rape and murder of Jewell “Juli” Buskin, a University of Oklahoma ballet student. Forensic evidence from the crime was linked to a man already incarcerated in Oklahoma on an unrelated charge.
            Officials have titled Senate Bill 1102 “Juli’s Law” to honor her memory.
            “Justice delayed is justice denied for the families of victims,” Denney said. “While we cannot bring back a loved one, we must do all we can to identify these murderers.”
            “Representative Denney feels very passionate about and has been a tireless crusader for this issue and was crucial to gaining final support for it this year,” Terrill said.
            Under the bill, anyone convicted of the following violent misdemeanor crimes would have to provide a DNA sample for inclusion in the state database: assault and battery, domestic abuse, stalking, possession of a controlled substance, outraging public decency, resisting arrest, escape or attempting to escape, eluding a police officer, peeping tom, pointing a firearm, unlawful carry of a firearm, illegal transport of a firearm, discharging of a firearm, threatening an act of violence, breaking and entering a dwelling place, destruction of property, negligent homicide, or causing a personal injury accident while driving under the influence.
            The bill would also apply to illegal aliens upon arrest for any crime.
            The law will add another 32,500 samples to the state DNA database each year, according to estimates.
            Senate Bill 1102 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives today on a 73-18 vote. It now returns to the state Senate.