January 14, 2013

DNA collection bill signed by Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill that will grant states funding for the cost of DNA collection was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

New York is not one of the 25 states that currently use DNA information to identify people arrested for violent crimes. The Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act will provide financial incentives for states to use more sophisticated law enforcement technology, according to a news release issued by the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

“DNA testing has proven to be accurate and effective, and giving police officers, detectives and investigators access to vast resources will help put violent offenders behind bars and off the street,” he said in a press release. 

“By spreading this technology to states across the country, we can make cities and streets safer for our families and dramatically reduce the cost of fighting crime.”

The legislation is named for Katie Sepich, a young woman from New Mexico who was raped and murdered by a man who was charged for another crime just three months later, according to the press release. 

The man was released by authorities who didn’t have evidence of a connection. He wasn’t arrested again for another three years, according to the release.

The bill was introduced by Schumer and Sens. Jeff Bingaman; former New Mexico Senator, Michael Bennet (D-CO); Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii); and Tom Udall (D-NM).

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