It is frightening to think that DNA would be processed upon arrest and not on conviction. This is a privacy issue that should not be dismissed to lightly.
James Lyman opened his mouth for the sponge.
Lyman, a 47-year-old convicted felon, was required to provide a DNA sample last month when he was sent to prison.
Jessica Avila, a medical assistant for the Colorado Department of Corrections, swabbed both of Lyman's cheeks and underneath his tongue.
Lyman's DNA will become part of a statewide database containing the genetic fingerprints of convicted felons.
But Lyman's sample was taken more than two decades after his first felony arrest and 16 years after he first served a prison sentence.
Some law enforcement officials say that's too late.
They want Colorado to join about a dozen other states that take DNA samples when a person is arrested instead of waiting until he or she is convicted.
As DNA databases have gained widespread acclaim for identifying the guilty and clearing the innocent, there is an increasing push to use them for something more: preventing crime.
That means taking DNA samples even earlier - at arrest instead of at conviction. About a dozen states already do it, and Colorado could follow suit.
Rocky Mountain News.