Perdue Signs DNA Bill In Greenville

House Bill 1403, known as the DNA Database Act, is now law in North Carolina, signed Thursday in Greenville.

Governor Bev Perdue arrived Thursday morning to the Greenville Police Department to sign the bill.

This new law will allow law enforcement officials to take D.N.A samples from any suspect arrested for a felony crime.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, members of the General Assembly and local law officials from the east, joined the Governor for the signing.

She says it's mainly because of the murder of State School Board Member and Greenville resident, Kathy Taft, that she wanted to sign the bill in Greenville.

Opponents of the bill say it's an invasion of privacy, but the Governor says there are provisions in the law to destroy D.N.A. samples if a person if exonerated.

This law will take effect on February 1st, 2011.

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North Carolina's criminal DNA testing system was expanded with Gov. Beverly Perdue signing a bill that supporters say will prevent crime and solve cold cases.

Attorney General Roy Cooper joined Perdue in a bill-signing ceremony on Thursday in Greenville. The measure directs police starting in February to take DNA samples of suspects charged with murder, rape and other serious crimes.

The sample will be entered into the state DNA database to determine whether the person may be linked to other crimes. The DNA record will be deleted if the person is acquitted or charges are dismissed.

The state already takes a sample when a person is convicted of a felony.

The bill was passed at the end of the General Assembly session last weekend.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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