For nearly twenty years, state and federal law enforcement agencies have turned to DNA databases as a means of identifying offenders, generating leads in cold cases, and on occasion, exonerating the innocent. Naturally, the larger the database, the more likely it is that a new DNA profile entered into the system will generate a match. Currently, fifty states maintain DNA databases, and of those, forty-seven-including North Carolina-collect and store DNA profiles from all persons convicted of any felony offense. Statutes requiring the collection of DNA profiles from convicts are a positive step toward improving the database tools; however, by only collecting samples upon conviction, a valuable opportunity for more comprehensive coverage is lost. This opportunity presents itself when persons are arrested for the commission of violent-felonies.
John Maddux, Arresting Development: A Call for North Carolina to Expand its Forensic Database by Collecting DNA from Felony Arrestees, 32 Campbell L. Rev. 103 (2009).