Prosecutors in Orange County, Calif., have taken the rare if not unique step of creating their own DNA database.
They're asking for voluntary DNA swabs from people arrested for minor crimes such as shoplifting, in exchange for dropping charges.
The argument is that it could help authorities solve cold cases.
Experts and other district attorneys are taking note.
DNA database expert Kelly Walsh, who is also a researcher with the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, joins Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss this unusual step by the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
This segment aired on October 9, 2013.