The idea came to us from Palm Beach County PBA’s Treasurer Lou Penque and Vice President Rick McAfee. After talking with a number of Homicide Investigators across Florida, we came up with a simple change to the law which has the potential to speed up the process for an arrest following a DNA match.
Current law, requires a search warrant to collect a confirmatory buccal swab of a person who matches both a crime scene sample and an offender profile in CODIS. This confirmation step was in place because sample collections are performed by humans and humans make mistakes. However, Florida PBA strongly believes the science and technology of DNA has advanced to allow a judge the option to issue a warrant for arrest, or a search warrant for a comparative DNA sample.
HB 1021 by Representative Chris Latvala unanimously passed the Florida House of Representatives (114 – 0).
SB 920 by Senator Jason Pizzo unanimously passed the Florida Senate (39 -0). This legislation also happens to be the first bill Senator Pizzo passed as newly elected state Senator.
Next, the legislation will be sent to Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature to place the legislation into law.
Hopefully, this investigative change will lead to much quicker apprehension of criminal suspects.
*Exclusive sponsor of the Florida PBA’s Capitol Report. The opinions expressed and positions articulated on legislative and regulatory matters are those of the Florida PBA and not those of the Lincoln Financial Group.