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The Virginia State Crime Commission on Monday endorsed legislation that would add thousands of offender DNA profiles to the state databank, but did not act on a proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

If it becomes law, the DNA-related legislation could add a half-dozen or more misdemeanors — including assault and battery, domestic assault, petit larceny, trespassing and destruction of property, obstruction of justice and shoplifting — to the list of crimes that require a DNA sample from a convicted offender.

Opponents of expanding the DNA databank, including the ACLU of Virginia, argue that doing so would further disproportionately affect minorities. One commission member suggested revisiting the issue in a few years to determine if the expansion of the list accomplished its goal in light of the concerns.

The number of new crimes to be added could be curbed somewhat by state budget constraints. The commission was told that the Virginia Department of Forensic Science can accommodate as many as 9,000 additional profile tests without requiring substantial new resources.

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