N.C. Attorney General wants DNA samples from arrestees

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -  North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper urged legislators in Raleigh today to pass a law that would allow state officials to collect DNA from arrestees.

A rape victim from Charlotte stood by his side, saying the crime that changed her life could have been prevented if a such a law was on the books, because her attacker was a repeat offender.

Cooper wants cheek swabs taken from people arrested for felonies. Their DNA information would then be entered into state and national databases, making repeat offenders easier to track, and helping with cold cases - crime scene evidence is searched against the DNA databases to help solve cases without a suspect.

The DNA information could also be used to help clear wrongly accused suspects, Cooper points out.

Twenty-three other states and the federal government are already allowed to collect DNA samples from arrestees, but human rights activists are concerned with the legality of the practice.

WBTV's Melissa Hankins will have more on this story tonight at 6pm.