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SBI touts DNA database as crime-fighting tool

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is touting the effectiveness of its crime-fighting DNA database a month before a significant expansion.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says the database recorded 420 "hits" in 2010, an all-time high. A "hit" occurs when crime scene evidence matches the DNA profile of a convicted felon.

Starting Feb. 1, the database will get larger. Police will be allowed to collect DNA samples from people arrested for certain serious felonies and misdemeanors, rather than from convicted felons only.

Cooper says the expanded collection will help solve more crimes than ever. But civil liberties groups say collecting DNA from people who haven't been convicted raises troubling Constitutional questions.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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