Nixon signs bill expanding DNA samples from suspects

JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri police will start taking DNA samples along with booking photos and fingerprints when they make arrests.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday requiring that DNA be taken from people age 17 and older who are arrested on suspicion of violent felonies, sex offenses or burglary.

The DNA samples will be discarded if the charges are dropped or never filed, or if the suspect is acquitted at trial.

The governor held a signing ceremony inside the crime lab at the Missouri State Highway Patrol headquarters. Nixon says the legislation shows the state has entered a “new world” in combating crime that focuses on using science to secure convictions.

He also signed bills imposing new restrictions on sex offenders and banning texting-while-driving for people age 21 and younger.