RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia is considering expanding the number of misdemeanor convictions that would require an offender to submit a DNA sample to a state databank.
Supporters say that had legislation been enacted a few years ago, it might have saved the life of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. The man charged in her September disappearance had been convicted of misdemeanor trespassing in 2010. Had he been required to surrender his DNA, it would have connected him to a previous sexual assault and likely would have taken him off the streets before Graham arrived at U.Va.
DNA collection in criminal cases is growing, with most states now taking it in at least some misdemeanors. New York became the first state to expand its databank to include all misdemeanors in 2012.