Governor Jay Nixon signed five different crime bills into law Thursday during a stop in Springfield in front of a packed audience of law enforcement officials and lawmakers ever eager to be seen as clamping down on crime.
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RANKED IN ORDER OF IMPACT:
1. THE OMNIBUS (HB 62) -- The Big Kahuna with many provisions, including creation of a new crime to posses meth in front of a child, a 5-member crime lab review task force, a ban on the use of beer bongs during float trips (or any other activity) on Missouri rivers and a ban on texting while driving for those under 21.
2. DNA REQUIREMENT (HB 152) -- Requires Missouri police to start taking DNA samples of any adults arrested on the suspicion of violent felonies, sex offenses and burglaries. Supporters says it could help crack more crimes. Despite a provision to discard the DNA if charges are dropped, privacy advocates worry it's an intrusion on those who are arrested but never charged. Also, some concern about the cost and the ability to produce a charge in the 90-day window.
3. CHILD RAPE (SB 36) -- Makes child rapists eligible for life in prison without parole.
4. CHILD WITNESS PROTECTION (HB 863) -- Implements new courtroom standards to prevent "intimidation or harassment" of children taking the stand by attorneys. Defense attorneys argue it's an attempt to limit cross examinations, and believe it will eventually be ruled unconstitutional.
5. HIGH PO CAN HANDLE IT (HB 685) -- Eliminates the requirement that the Sheriff's Department accompany the Highway Patrol when issuing search warrants for DWI investigations.
*WATCH NIXON'S COMMENTS ABOVE*
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