(Harrisburg) -- A legislative panel has approved a bill to allow DNA testing of many criminal suspects in Pennsylvania before they are convicted.
The House Judiciary Committee has amended the legislation to bar police from downloading the DNA samples into a state or national database until the suspect is held for court or waives his right to a preliminary hearing.
Also approved was an amendment would give prosecutors up to 30 days to convince a judge that the DNA of certain suspects should stay in government computer files -- even if they're acquitted or charges against them are dropped.
The bill now goes to the full House, although debate isn't expected there before December.
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