Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bills would speed up rape kit tests, add to DNA database

(AP) — Kentucky would speed up the testing of rape kits and add more DNA profiles to a national database under a pair of bills moving through the state Senate.

A rape kit is a collection of physical evidence from a victim after a rape has occurred. Police check the evidence against a national DNA database to look for suspects. It takes about eight months for a rape kit to be tested in Kentucky. A bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday would shorten that to 90 days by July 2018, subject to funding.

The national DNA database only includes profiles from people convicted of felonies in Kentucky. A bill the committee approved Thursday would also include DNA from anyone arrested and charged with a felony. Several senators opposed the bill because of privacy concerns.