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House committee kills "Katie's Law"

Katie’s Law, a bill that would have allowed the state to collect DNA of people arrested for certain felonies will not move forward in the Wyoming House.

A committee voted 5-3 to kill the bill, which is named after a 22-year-old New Mexico resident whose killer was identified based on DNA matching. Proponents of the bill argued that DNA is the modern equivalent of a fingerprint.

The ACLU opposed the mandatory collection of DNA from people not convicted of a crime. Representative Stephen Watt added that he didn’t like the idea that those subsequently proved innocent would be required to apply to have their information expunged from the database.

“I have never in my life went back and forth on something so much as this bill in the four other years that I’ve served. I don’t like it…  I thought I could support it this morning, but now I’m back to, I don’t think I can support it.”

More than half of US states have passed versions of the law.

Sara Hossaini is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She brings a blend of documentary journalism and public interest communications experience developed through her work as a nonprofit multimedia consultant and Associate Producer on national PBS documentary films through groups such as the Center for Asian American Media, Fenton Communications and The Working Group. She likes to travel, to get her hands in the dirt and to explore her creative side through music, crafts and dance.
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