Bunting eyes DNA bill debate early next year

Published: Thursday | December 19, 2013 Comments 0

ONE OF the most-talked-about proposed pieces of legislation appears to be finally making its way to the House of Representatives for tabling at the start of the new year.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting yesterday pledged that the DNA bill would be tabled in Parliament in January.

Responding to a question about the proposed law, which has been in gestation for about five years, Bunting said he expects to get a copy of the draft statute for tabling early next year.

"I have had it in my carriage for a year and it is going to come to Parliament in January," Bunting stressed.

He told journalists during yesterday's Jamaica House media briefing that drafting instructions for the bill were first given in 2008. According to Bunting, the first draft was completed in November 2012.

"Those who are criticising had it in their carriage for four years and didn't get it through," Bunting quipped.

However, the national security minister cautioned that the DNA bill was not a panacea for crime.

He argued that the proposed law would facilitate the compulsory taking of DNA samples from suspects and create a database of samples.

Bunting said it would be simplistic to believe that with the introduction of DNA law, there would be a significant dent in crime. He added that it would take some time to see positive results after a database is established.


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