Connecticut court to decide on use of force to obtain DNA

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state Supreme Court will be deciding whether prison officials can use reasonable force to take DNA samples from convicted felons who refuse to provide them.

State law requires all convicted felons to provide DNA samples, but does not specify whether officials can use force.

The state Appellate Court in 2013 upheld a ruling by a lower court judge who said barring the use of force would undermine the law.

Justices are scheduled to hear arguments Thursday in the appeals of two inmates who are challenging the state’s authority to take samples of their DNA by force.

The appeals were filed by convicted robber Mark Banks, formerly of Bristol, and convicted murderer Roosevelt Drakes, formerly of Hartford.

The taking of their DNA samples is on hold pending their appeals.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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