Wis. gov signs bill to speed DNA recovery efforts

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has a signed a bill allowing judges to order former convicts to surrender DNA samples.

The measure gives prison officials more legal muscle as they try to find more than 10,000 offenders who finished their sentences without giving the samples.

Officials learned of the missing samples last fall after detectives in a serial rape case realized their prime suspect's DNA wasn't in the state's database. An Associated Press review revealed that state DNA databases across the country are missing tens of thousands of offenders' samples.

Under the new law, district attorneys can seek a court order compelling former convicts to give a sample. If people can't prove they don't owe a sample, a judge must order collection - by force if necessary.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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