Sen. Orrin Hatch's bill allowing rapid DNA headed to president's desk

Sen. Orrin Hatch's bill allowing rapid DNA headed to president's desk

(Ravell Call, Deseret News, File)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police might soon use new technology to speed up the process to identify perpetrators or exonerate people accused of crimes.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is now headed to President Donald Trump's desk after passing the Senate and House.

The bill creates a system allowing law enforcement to use rapid DNA technology to help reduce evidence backlogs. Unlike traditional DNA analysis, rapid DNA can produce results in about 90 minutes. It allows samples collected in the field to be connected to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, a national database that houses DNA profiles from federal, state and local forensic laboratories.

Under current law, police agencies can only use results from accredited labs, rather than rapid DNA analysis, to search for matches in the FBI database.

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