The government will collect and store the DNA profiles of 20,000 people convicted of violent crimes such as murder and rape this year. The Ministry of Justice on Wednesday said since the law on usage and protection of DNA information goes into effect next Monday, it will take DNA samples of some 20,000 prisoners nationwide starting with 12 people due to be released Wednesday.
The new DNA law allows the government to take samples of criminals sentenced for 11 serious crimes such as murder, sex crimes against children and adolescents, rape or molestation, burglary, arson, kidnapping, chronic violence, organized crime, robbery, and murder of a superior officer under the military penal code. The Justice Ministry aims to take samples from all prisoners found guilty of any of these crimes.
The ministry decided to take samples from some 2,000 sex offenders and 59 prisoners who on death row first to check whether they are linked to any other crimes. A DNA sample is taken by oral swab. If the convicts refuse, the ministry can get a warrant from the court. The sampled DNA will be codified and stored on a database at the Digital Forensics Center at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office.
"From now on, we can identify the suspect from just one strand of hair left on the crime scene. When the DNA sampling is on track in the fall, the police will embark on investigating unsolved cases."
Police will separately begin taking DNA samples of criminals arrested for the 11 crimes from Monday next week, to be managed by the National Institute of Scientific Investigation.