Albemarle BOS to Meet with State Lawmakers on DNA Databank Expansion
Dec 03, 2014 08:07 PM
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -
A very emotional Albemarle Sheriff took his plea for expanding the state's DNA databank to county supervisors Wednesday afternoon. Now, the Board of Supervisors is promising to push lawmakers to support an expansion plan that includes swabbing those convicted of a misdemeanor.
Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding choked up when he began addressing the board Wednesday. He's been passionate about expanding the DNA databank in Virginia for many years, and says too many unnecessary lives have been lost due to a lack of action.
Before the board, Sheriff Harding said Jesse Matthew and Hannah Graham would have never met if the databank expansion plan had been in place in 2010. Matthew, who is currently charged with abduction with intent to defile in connection with the Graham case, was found guilty of trespassing in 2010.
Under Harding's plan, people convicted of criminal misdemeanors would be required to give their DNA to the databank.
"You reminisce on what could have been and I have felt strongly on this issue for a number of years and I feel like she would be with us,” said Harding.
Harding says there are 7,700 unknown DNA profiles that don't have a match right now at the State Crime Lab in Richmond. Harding believes his plan would increase the databank pool by 40,000 people per year.
The board will meet with state lawmakers Thursday at the Albemarle County Office building to push the idea. State Delegate David Toscano is already drafting a bill for Harding's plan.
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