Rep. Reichert applauds Senate passage of Katie's Law

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Auburn) applauded Senate passage of the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012 (HR 6014), a bipartisan bill he introduced with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to encourage the establishment of DNA collection processes.

The House of Representatives passed this legislation on Dec. 18, and the Senate passed the bill on Dec. 28. The bill awaits the president's signature.

The Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act, or Katie's Law, is named for Katie Sepich, a 22-year-old woman who was brutally raped and murdered in New Mexico in 2003. As the result of a DNA match in the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), police discovered her attacker three years later in 2006.

"With 33 years of experience in law enforcement, I can attest to the importance of DNA evidence," Reichert said. "This bill aids law enforcement officers in their criminal investigations, protecting both the community and the innocent. It was my honor to work with Katie's parents, Jayann and David Sepich, in the development of this bill. The bill supports the efforts of law enforcement in ensuring that tragedies like the senseless murder of Katie never happen again."

Katie's Law gives states the opportunity to apply for grants from the Department of Justice for the establishment of DNA collection processes that provide for the collection of DNA from individuals arrested for or charged with certain crimes. These resources afford critical support for states in the first year of implementing such a process and do so without the authorization of new spending.

Also, this grant funding is contingent upon a state's creation of a method for handling requests for the expungement of DNA records and the publication of it.

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